` 120

June 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 6




Run Old Versions Of Windows Online
A great Android phone weighed down
by too many gimmicks
Best Windows ‘Fix It’ Solutions
The next-generation Galaxy S with
better hardware, software
Best ever tips for
preventing computer
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4 Computer active June 2014
From the Editor
It’s been a great five year
long journey with Computer
Active, taking it forward from
strength to strength. It’s time
to look at new challenges and
I pass on the baton to the
very capable hands of Girish
Mallya who currently helms
our sister publication Popular
Science India. I am sure that
Computer Active will do well
under his stewardship.
In this issue of Computer
Active we give you a walk
through on how to take back
up and other related
measures to make your PC
crash proof.

Amit Tewari, Editor
` 120
June 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 6
tools & utilities
CD with
this issue
Run Old Versions Of Windows Online
A great Android phone weighed down
by too many gimmicks
Best Windows‘Fix It’ Solutions
The next-generation Galaxy S with
better hardware, software
Best ever tips for
preventing computer
In this issue…
In every issue…
4 Welcome
8 Letters
10 News
26 Protect Your Tech
32 Best Free Software
58 What’s All the Fuss
85 Problems Solved
91 Fast Fixes
92 Jargon Buster
94 The Final Straw
Make your
PC crashproof
Who says computer crashes
are inevitable? we look at
what you can do to prevent
your PC freezing
Run old versions of
windows online
You can revisit early versions of
Windows by running them in an
online emulator. we travel back in
time and reveal what you can do

Best Windows ‘Fix-it’
Don’t waste time trying to
troubleshoot computer problems
yourself – use Microsoft’s automatic
‘Fix it’ tools instead. We reveal the
best 13 fixes
Make your mind up,
Microsoft – IE bug in XP
will now be fixed p10
Best Windows ‘Fix-it’ solutions p56
Who says computer crashes
are inevitable? we look at
what you can do to prevent
your PC freezing
6 Computer active June 2014
June 2014 Issue 6
Magix Movie Edit Pro 2014 p36
Moto E p42
HTC One (M8) p38
Samsung Galaxy S5 p45
26 pages of brilliant workshops
79 Readers’ Tips
80 Tablet & Phone Tips
82 Make Windows Better
83 Make Office Better
84 Secret Tips For... PeaZip
34 Microsoft Office for iPad
36 Magix Movie Edit Pro 2014
37 Ashampoo WinOptimizer 11
38 HTC One (M8)
40 WD Black2 Dual Drive
LG LAP340 SoundPlate
42 Moto E
44 PowerSafe PB 10400
Power Bank
Samsung Gear 2
45 Samsung Galaxy S5
46 Oppo N1
59 Make your PC start up in seconds
62 Control a photo slideshow with your phone
64 Sync files between your tablet and PC
66 Upgrade to Windows 8.1 from the Preview version
67 Write your life story in Word
70 Switch from iOS to Android using a PC
72 Share huge files without an account for free
74 Hack Windows XP to make it run faster
75 Create web spreadsheets for free
77 Back up everything on your Android tablet
7 June 2014 Computer active
Computer active June 2014
Tell us what’s on your mind
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Microsoft’s ‘cynical business plan’

I’d like to take issue with
Noel Hamilton’s letter in
Issue 414, in which he seems
inexplicably relaxed about
Microsoft’s cynical business plan of
releasing new versions of Windows
every couple of years. He says it’s
simply ‘healthy capitalism’. My
response is that it’s shortsighted
capitalism because, ultimately, customers
lose trust in a company when it continues
to exploit them.
Here’s what happened to me. In 2007, I
was quite happy using Windows XP, but
then Microsoft’s marketing campaign for
Vista persuaded me to upgrade. I should
have done more research, of course, but
naively assumed that Microsoft would
only release an operating system that
would improve my computing
But no. Vista stank. It was awful. I realised
then that I’d been tricked by the hype
surrounding Vista. Disillusioned by
Microsoft and Windows, I gave Linux a
go, and eventually settled on Ubuntu,
which is simply brilliant. I’d never have
made the switch had Microsoft not
sold me a dog’s dinner of an operating
system with Vista. I’m sure lots of people
felt the same when Windows 8 was
launched. Tat doesn’t sound like
‘healthy capitalism’ to me – more like an
ill-judged strategy to take advantage of
When support for Windows XP ends in
April, I urge all your readers to leave
Windows behind and try Ubuntu. You
won’t regret it!
Devang Mochi
Keep making
antivirus for XP
I have just finished reading
regarding the imminent removal
of support for Windows XP. Te
consensus of opinion seems to be: get
rid of your PC and buy a new one. Has it
occurred to the security experts you
interviewed that there are many XP
users who simply cannot afford to buy a
new PC? And if it’s correct that more
people are still using XP than Windows
8, then isn’t there a good business
opportunity here for security companies
to carry on producing specific software
and still make money?
B. Arun
‘Not worried’ about
losing support for XP
Your recent articles about
Windows XP not being supported
by Microsoft after April got me
wondering how my desktop computer
and I have survived for the past few
years. My PC, which I bought from
Mesh in 2004, is an AMD 3200 model
with 1GB of memory, runs XP Service
Pack 2 and has an old Radeon graphics
I use it for email, browsing the web,
listening to music, watching videos,
online banking, online shopping,
photo-editing and other non-intensive
applications. Besides ZoneAlarm I have
no security programs, having disabled
Windows Firewall and automatic
upgrades shortly after installing Service
Pack 2. I’ve whittled the number of
programs that run on startup to just 30,
and regularly clean up junk files and
defragment my PC. I also have
high-speed Wi-Fi broadband My limited
budget doesn’t run to upgrading either
my PC or my operating system and,
strangely enough, I’m not too bothered.
I’ve never been hacked nor had a major
virus in nearly 30 years of computing,
even though I spend two to three hours
online every day. So, should I be
worried about losing support for XP? I
don’t think so.
Syam Patil
Time to upgrade
to Windows 7
I enjoyed your breakdown of
Windows’ four main operating
systems. I have used XP for years and I
really like it. I was 72 in December and
spry as I am I still can’t do what I did 40
years ago. In computer years I suppose that
must be the same length of time as
XP has been around. I suspect the main
problem is that a) nobody likes change for
the sake of change, and b) many of us have
the impression that since Bill Gates retired
many people at Microsoft
have been making changes
for no other reason than to
justify their jobs and salaries.
Whatever the reason,
following your guidance, I
will have to upgrade to
Windows 7.
Kirti kumar
Last month’s winner: Narayan Doiphode
Round up of the top stories of the month
10 Computer active June 2014
icrosoft has backtracked
on its policy that
Windows XP will no longer
receive security updates
by fixing a zero-day
vulnerability in Internet
Explorer (IE) that left
over half of all of PC
users around the world
at risk of being hacked.
Particularly in danger
were people using Windows
XP, which Microsoft initially
said would not be getting
Microsoft confirmed the
presence of the bug on 26
April, saying it affected IE
versions 6 to 11, but that they
would only provide a fix for
versions 9 to 11. That would
have left XP users vulnerable,
because XP can only run IE8
and earlier versions.
However, on 1 May Microsoft
performed a dramatic U-turn,
releasing a fix for every
of IE,
version 8 for
XP, leaving open the
possibility that it may do
the same for further XP
This particular IE flaw let
hackers exploit a known bug
in Adobe Flash to hide
malicious code in websites
that use Flash video. If you
visited one of these sites, you
would’ve instantly infected
your PC – no download
required. Hackers could then
have gained full access
to your computer.
Microsoft said that
hackers had already
exploited the flaw
to attack companies’
computers before the
fix was issued.
Adrienne Hall, general
manager of Trustworthy
Computing at Microsoft, said:
“We made this exception
based on the proximity to the
end of support for Windows
XP.” Read the full statement
at www.snipca.com/12070.
You will receive the update
automatically, as long as you
have Updates switched on.
To do this in XP go to Control
Panel, System Properties,
click the Automatic Updates
tab, and then select the
Automatic option.
Microsoft stopped supporting
Make your mind up,
Microsoft – IE bug in XP will now be fixed
It’s been just a few weeks
since Microsoft scrapped
support for Windows
XP, and there’s already
a major flaw that left XP
users seriously at risk.
Eventually, Microsoft
acted reasonably, offering
XP users a lifeline.
However, the severity of
this flaw should serve as
a wake-up call to people
still using XP. The number
of dangerous flaws like
this on XP is only going to
increase, and Microsoft
might not be there to save
you next time.
Does this fix mean Microsoft
is extending support for
Windows XP?
No, although many people
will be confused by the mixed
messages. Microsoft decided
to fix the bug because it
came to light just 18 days
after XP support was cut off
(the “proximity” Adrienne Hall
mentions above). It was also
straightforward to fix the IE8
flaw while fixing IE9 to 11.
“If the vulnerability had
been in some XP-only
software version, I doubt
Microsoft would have
released a patch to anyone
other than those paying for
extended support,” says
Simon Edwards, who runs our
antivirus tests in the Dennis
Technology Labs.
So will Microsoft fix the
next XP bug?
Hard to say. Many experts
had predicted that Microsoft
wouldn’t risk the bad
publicity that would result
from leaving 400 million XP
users unsupported – and sure
enough it’s caved in after just
18 days. But Microsoft may
not be so generous if the next
flaw only affects XP.
Should I stop using IE in XP?
Yes. Switch to Chrome or
Firefox. The popularity of IE
makes it a prime target for
hackers. “We’ll continue to
see vulnerabilities published
and the bad guys will
consequently write exploits to
abuse those vulnerabilities,”
says Edwards. The problem
with XP is that you no longer
have the good guys fixing
what the bad guys exploit.
Should I use Flash on XP?
Adobe is still releasing the
latest versions of Flash Player
for XP, although it’s only safe
in Chrome and Firefox (and
new Flash flaws have been
found – see page 14).
Will we see more XP bugs?
Actually, hackers are starting
to target Windows 7 more
due to its growing popularity.
While fewer bugs are likely
to be exposed in XP than
7, those that are will be a
greater threat as Microsoft
won’t fix them.
XP on 8 April 2014, despite it
being used by 25 per cent of
PC users, and is urging
people to upgrade to
Windows 7 or 8.
11 June 2014 Computer active
SanDisk Corporation has announced the
new 128GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I
memory card, the world’s largest capacity
microSD card in India. Smaller than the size
of a fingernail, the new SanDisk Ultra
microSDXC card enables consumers to use
their phones and tablets as if storage
limitations were never a concern.
Designed for Android smartphones and
tablets, the new SanDisk Ultra microSDXC
card provides consumers the highest storage
capacity available in a removable form
factor. Ideal for shooting Full HD video and
high-quality pictures, the 128GB SanDisk
Ultra microSDXC card delivers twice the
speed of ordinary microSD memory cards
and offers the highest video recording
performance available.
A new version of the SanDisk Memory
Zone app (available on the Google Play store
in beta) lets users easily view, access, and
backup all of their files from their phone’s
memory in one convenient place.
As a part of the SanDisk Memory Zone app,
SanDisk is releasing OptiMem, a new feature
that allows Android users to enhance their
phone’s internal memory by automatically
transferring some of their old photos and
videos to their microSD card. OptiMem will
continuously monitor the user’s mobile
device memory levels, and inform them
whenever the internal memory falls below
a pre-defined threshold.
Compared to when the microSD card
format was first launched in 2004 with
128MB of capacity, SanDisk has increased
storage capacity of microSD cards 1,000
times over in less than a decade with the
128GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card.
To enable 128GB of storage on a removable
microSD card, SanDisk developed an
innovative proprietary technique that allows
for 16 memory die to be vertically stacked,
each shaved to be thinner than a strand of
The SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I
memory card is available in India in 128GB
capacity carrying a price tag of Rs. 9.999.
Transcend Information has announced
the launch of its JetDrive Lite series of
expansion cards aimed at MacBook Pro
with Retina display and MacBook Air
users. With four different models offered
in 64GB and 128GB capacities,
Transcend’s new JetDrive Lite cards are
tailor-made to have a flush profile with
each specific model while providing an
easy way to increase available storage for
Transcend’s JetDrive Lite expansion
cards provide plenty of space to backup,
store, and carry personal documents,
photos, movies, and music. The 128GB
card, for instance, can store over 60,000
high-resolution photos, 32,000 MP3
songs, 32 hours of Full HD video, or
seemingly limitless number of
documents. When inserted into the card
slot of a compatible MacBook Pro with
Retina display or MacBook Air, the
low-profile JetDrive Lite will not stick
out like an SD card and can be left in
place for on-the-go storage.
Manufactured with reliable, top-tier
MLC NAND flash chips, JetDrive Lite
expansion cards boast blazing fast read
and write speeds of up to 95MB/s and
60MB/s respectively.
Transcend’s JetDrive Lite expansion
cards are equipped with built-in ECC
(error correction code), which
automatically corrects potential transfer
errors, and utilize wear-leveling
algorithm for consistent long-life
operation. JetDrive Lite cards are
manufactured using a special COB
(Chip-on-Board) technique, making
them completely resistant to dust and
The JetDrive Lite Series of expansion
cards are available in 64GB (Rs. 2,899)
and 128GB (Rs. 5,799) capacities.
Sandisk Introduces MicroSDXC Card in India
Transcend JetDrive Lite Expansion Cards
for MacBooks
12 Computer active June 2014
Sony India has launched its most
anticipated premium smartphone, the Xperia
Z2 in India, at MRP of Rs. 49,990. The
smartphone combines Sony’s best design. The
device comes bundled with the Sony
SmartBand and a premium Sony case.
Available in White, Black and Purple colour,
Xperia Z2 is powered by the latest Qualcomm
Snapdragon 801 Quad Core processor clocked
at 2.3 GHz, supported by 3GB RAM and a
HUGE 3,200 mAh Battery in an 8.2mm slim
The Xperia Z2 Android smartphone is
designed with the user in mind, drawing on
Sony’s expertise in premium craftsmanship.
Evolving Sony’s stunning OmniBalance
design, the device has a slimmer and more
comfortable feel by having the glass panels
encased in a single, solid aluminium frame
with smoother edges.
This dust-resistant and waterproof (IP55 &
IP58) powerhouse blends beauty with
Sony Xperia Z2 has the best of Sony’s
proven camera technologies, including the
Award-winning “G Lens”, 20.7 MP “Exmor RS
for mobile” CMOS image sensor and “BIONZ
for mobile” image processing engine. The
smartphone can capture video in 4K
resolution with SteadyShot for stable videos.
Sony also announced the launch of its
SmartBand SWR10 today, an innovative Life
log wrist band that lets you keep track of
everything you do – your movements, your
communication, your entertainment. What
makes SmartBand smart is Life log, an
innovative Android app that records your
physical, social and entertainment activities.
You can see how active you were, where you
went, what pictures you took, where and
when and how you have been communicating
with your world during any day.
Samsung Electronics launched their
latest Curved TV range in India. Te
company showcased its line-up for 2014
which included world’s first Curved UHD
TV and expansive portfolio of home
entertainment products designed to
elevate the television viewing and audio
Samsung believes Curved TV is the
next phase in the evolution of the home
viewing experience; with the
revolutionary technology, bringing
images to life like never before with a
deeper sense of depth, wider viewing
angles and a clearer picture quality with
higher contrast levels creating a more
immersive viewing experience.
Te curved screen gives videos a
presence not felt on flat screens, plus, a
wider field of view creates a panoramic
effect that makes the display seem even
bigger than it is and draws viewers in like
no TV has ever done before. From virtually
any viewing position or angle, the curved
design creates a more true-to-life
experience so everyone watching has the
best seat in the house.
Te Curved screen adds to the depth
and the color contrast providing a
breathtaking picture quality with
incredible details.
To enrich the Curved experience,
Samsung TVs come with four times the
resolution and pixels of Full HD, these
Curved UHD TVs provide unsurpassed
picture quality. Te proprietary
technology converts Full HD, HD and
lower resolution sources to nearly-UHD
clarity through a unique four-step process
that includes signal analysis, noise
reduction, up scaling and detail analysis.
Samsung’s latest range includes a
105-inch Curved UHD TV that gives a
cinema-quality experience with a 21:9
aspect ratio and 11 million pixels, HU9000
Curved UHD TV in 65-inch (Rs. 4,49,900)
to the HU7000 in 40-inch for Rs. 1,04,900.
Sony India unveils Xperia Z2
Samsung brings their Curved
UHD TV Range to India
14 Computer active June 2014
Intel aims to accelerate its growth in
India, driven by an increased focus on new
mobile form factors like 2 in 1s and Tablets.
At the high end of tablets, some
consumers are choosing 2 in 1 to get the
best of both worlds. 2 in 1 devices represent
a new category of computing. OEMs are
developing a range of devices that provide
consumers with a choice, combining the
creation capability of a notebook or laptop
and the consumption capability of a tablet
into the one device.
Intel estimates the overall tablet demand
in Asia Pacific and Japan will be up 32 per
cent Year-on-Year in 2014. In particular,
India, Indonesia, Japan and Australia will
equate to 59 per cent of tablet demand.
Tablet demand in India is forecast at 18% of
the Asia Pacific and Japan (ex-China)
demand for 2014.
Based on a new low-power,
high-performance microarchitecture
“Silvermont,” (announced in May 2013),
“Bay Trail” is Intel’s first tri-gate 3-D 22nm
quad core SoC and its most powerful
processor1 to-date for tablets and other
sleek devices that provide a balance of
performance, features and battery life.
Intel also highlighted the upcoming
2.13GHz Intel Atom processor Z3480
(“Merrifield”) that offers the ideal
combination of fast, smart performance
and long battery life for Android
smartphones and tablets. Merrifield also
delivers best-in-class battery life.
Also coming soon is the next-generation
64-bit Intel Atom processor, code-named
“Moorefield” in devices expected to be
available second half of this year. Building
on the Merrifield feature set, Moorefield
adds two additional Intel architecture (IA)
cores for up to 2.3GHz of compute
performance, an enhanced GPU and
support for faster memory.
Intel focuses on Tablets and 2 in 1s in India
ASRock Inc. has unveiled the
brand new Intel 9 series
motherboards with ASRock
Super Alloy technology Packing
the Intel Z97 / H97 chipsets,
ASRock 9 series Super Alloy
motherboards provide great
compatibility and fully support
the 5th, New 4th and 4th
Generation Intel Core
Processors in Socket 1150. Te
product lines include the
Extreme series for high-end PC,
the Fatal1ty Killer Gaming
series for elite gamers, and the
OC Formula series for OC
Te 9 series motherboard are specially
designed with ASRock Super Alloy
technology, including 12K Platinum
Capacitors with the longest lifespan in the
industry, the next-gen NexFET MOSFET,
Dual-Stack MOSFETs (DSM), Premium
Alloy Chokes, and XXL Aluminum Alloy
Heatsinks. Clearly, ASRock has shown its
ambition to redefine the horizon of
motherboard craftsmanship.
Supreme 12K platinum capacitors
with the longest life spans in the
industry. Tese high class capacitors
possess not only eye-catching
appearances, but also ultra durability
of at least 12,000 hours. Compared to
other counterparts on high-end
motherboards that merely have life
spans of around 10,000 hours, these
platinum capacitors have 20% longer
life spans and provide more stability
and reliability.
Te new generation alloy chokes
effectively increase up to 90%
saturation current and feature a highly
magnetic and heat resistant design,
making the motherboard more
effi cient, stable and reliable. Compared to
other motherboards that adopt iron
powder chokes, Premium Alloy Chokes
highlight a special alloy formula which is
able to reduce up to 70% core loss.
ASRock Announces Intel
9 Series Motherboards
16 Computer active June 2014
Acer India has introduced its
Aspire E1-510 notebook, designed for
consumers on the lookout for a
computing device that promises
everyday productivity and
infotainment at a competitive price
point. The newly launched Aspire
E1-510 builds on the success of the
popular Aspire E1 product line.
Powered by Intel Celeron Bay Trail
processor, the latest Intel Celeron
N2820 processor. The notebook also
offers reliable mobile productivity
with up to 4 hours of battery
back-up and features M-DISC
compatible drive, that is resistant to
extreme conditions of light,
temperature, and humidity.
Packed with all the speed and
storage features for everyday
computing in a slim and light design,
the 39.624 cm (15.6 inch) notebook
is just 25.3mm thin and weighs a
little more than 2 kgs, making it 33%
slimmer and lighter than any other
entry-level notebooks in the market.
With a multi-gesture touchpad that
supports two-finger scroll and pinch,
it offers consumers smoother
scrolling and screen
The Acer
Aspire E1-510
is priced at Rs
20,999 + taxes.
ASUS has launched Essence STX II and
Essence STX II 7.1, two new Hi-Fi-grade
sound cards designed to delight audiophiles
with 124dB signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR)
clarity and a 600ohm-headphone amplifier.
Essence STX II and STX II 7.1 build on the
success and huge popularity of ASUS
Essence STX – the world’s first
consumer sound card to deliver
124db SNR audio clarity plus
600ohm headphone amp.
Keeping the audiophile spirit
and philosophy alive, the new
Essence STX II and STX II 7.1 cards
both feature a remarkable 124dB
SNR for line-out connections and
120dB SNR for headphone
With an amplifier capable of
delivering impeccable output for
up to 600ohm headphones, an
additional gain control for in-ear
monitor (IEM) headphones,
high-quality MUSES operational
amplifiers (op-amps) and an included
op-amp swap kit, ASUS once again
demonstrates its ability to redefine the
sound card market. Essence STX II 7.1 even
has the ability to output true 7.1-channel
surround sound, via the included simple-
to-fit daughterboard.
To attain the essence of sound, ASUS
engineers equipped Essence STX II and STX
II 7.1 with even more Hi-Fi-quality
components. Tese include a premium
TCXO clock source that ensures ultra-low
jitter, high-fidelity LDO regulators for
consistent linear regulation and
German-made WIMA capacitors for a more
balanced sound. Each channel is fully
customizable with nine swappable op-amp
sockets — giving audiophiles complete
freedom to create the perfect surround-
sound experience for their ears and
listening environment.
ASUS engineers have also furnished the
new cards with an additional gain control
designed especially for high-sensitivity IEM
headphones, allowing musicians, audio
purists and everyday listeners to use
snug-fitting earpieces that channel audio
output straight to the ear canal — isolating
ambient noise for clear sound and
undisturbed listening experience.
Acer launches afordable Aspire E1-E510 notebook
ASUS launches Hi-Fi-Grade Sound Cards
18 Computer active June 2014
iBall has widened its range of Andi
smartphones with the launch of its duo
in 3.5” display - 3.5kke 3G Genius and 2G
Andi 3.5 KKe Winner and Genius are
packed in with multitude of features
differentiating even in the entry level
segment of smart phones.
Apart from running on 1.3 GHz Dual core
processor and with and Android 4.2 jelly
bean, it houses a 3.2MP Camera with LED
flash, allowing the users to enjoy the insta
click moments. It also holds a front
camera for video calling in 3G and video
chatting in 2G.
Keeping your entertainment ongoing is
its Dual-SIM running, phone’s memory,
which is expandable upto 32 GB via
micro SD slot. It is with 2GB storage as
against most phones in this segment with
maximum 512MB of storage thereby
giving the user more flexibility to load
more apps and also indulge in gaming.
Keeping connectivity intact are its GPS
capability, which helps tracking location
and pre installed auto call recording
feature records and stocks up all call
recordings automatically.
Te 3.5kke genius is priced at Rs. 3,999
and Winner is priced at Rs. 3,499.
iBall launches entry-level smartphone -
Genius and Winner
HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology
has announced its memory product lines:
FURY, Genesis, Predator and Beast, offer a
series of dual-channel kits compatible with
the new Intel fourth-generation Core i5 and
i7 processors and Intel 9 series chipset.
HyperX worked closely with leading
motherboard partners to guarantee
compatibility and the highest performance.
Compatible Intel HyperX memory is
available in frequencies ranging from
1333MHz to 2800MHz, and in various
combinations from 8GB to 32GB in kits of
two and four. A complete list of
dual-channel compatible kits is available
here. HyperX memory is 100-percent tested
and backed by a lifetime warranty, free
technical support and legendary Kingston
HyperX is the high-performance product
division of Kingston Technology
encompassing high-speed DDR3 memory,
SSDs, USB Flash drives, and headsets.
Targeted at gamers, overclockers and
enthusiasts, HyperX is known throughout
the world for quality, performance and
innovation. HyperX is committed to eSports
as it sponsors over 20 teams globally and is
the main sponsor of Intel Extreme Masters.
HyperX can be found at many shows
including China Joy, PAX, Davao Cyber Expo,
and TGS & Big Fest.
HyperX Memory Supports New Intel Processors
Get One,
The Best One
Get One,
The Best One
ASRock Products
Z87 Extreme9/ac Z97X Killer Z87 Extreme6/ac Z87 OC Formula M8
20 Computer active June 2014
Microsoft has started selling the Nokia XL,
the flagship large screen offering under the
Nokia X family of affordable smartphones
that run Android apps in India.
With a 5” IPS capacitive color touch
screen, the Nokia XL brings the much
desired large screen experience at an
affordable price point of Rs. 11,489. Te
device further augments the imaging
experience with a 2-megapixel front-facing
camera for video calls on Skype and a
5-megapixel rear camera with autofocus
and flash. It comes with a powerful 2000
mAh battery, rated for 16 hours of talktime
and upto 41 days of standby.
To allow consumers to enjoy apps on
Nokia XL, Microsoft has tied up with Airtel
to give users free unlimited download of
Android Apps for six months. Te plan
allows upto 500MB of free usage through
which consumers can download their
favourite apps via the Nokia Store and the
1Mobile store
Te Nokia XL device is the next offering
in the Nokia X family which includes Nokia
X, launched earlier this year in India, and
the Nokia X+ launched simultaneously
comes armed with an enhanced RAM
(768MB) for even faster multitasking and is
priced at Rs. 8,399.
BenQ launches 27” & 24” Full HD gaming monitors
BenQ has launched XL-Z series
gaming monitors in the Indian
market. The range includes a
27-inch XL2720Z and 24-inch
XL2420Z and XL2411Z widescreen
full-HD displays.
Featuring BenQ’s exclusive
Revolution Eyes technology for
exceptional monitor performance,
the displays are packed with
enhancements such as Motion
Blur Reduction, Low Blue Light,
Zero Flicker, gaming refresh rate
optimization management
(GROM), and 1-ms GTG response
times. In addition, the new
models offer BenQ’s latest
firmware, which enables third-
party utility support for further
optimization options. The end
result is striking visual clarity,
seamless motion fluidity, and
added viewing comfort for hours
of action-packed game play.
Featuring Low Blue Light
technology, the XL-Z monitors
successfully manage the exposure
of blue spectrum light emitted,
resulting in more comfortable
viewing. To help gamers protect
their eyes during extended
periods, the monitors provide
several adjustable low blue light
levels that automatically adjust
emission without affecting
A true testament to the belief of
“Gaming Is in the Details”, the
XL- Z series is a great choice for
gaming experience like never
before with total realism and
intensive graphic display. It is
certified as NVIDIA 3D Vision
2-ready with light boost
technology to provide gamers
Full-HD 3D gaming indulgence.
The all new BenQ XL2720Z
gaming monitor is available across
India at an MRP of Rs. 37500,
while the XL2420Z & XL2411Z are
available at retail price of Rs.
32500 & Rs. 30000 respectively.
22 Computer active June 2014
Quick Heal Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
announced the appointment of Rahul Joshi
as its country manager for Retail, India. He
will be responsible for sales and operations
for the retail business in India.
Rahul is expected to help grow Quick
Heal’s business in India by working with
existing partnerships and developing new
ones. He will also be responsible to maintain
Quick Heal’s market leadership in Retail and
grow markets across the country; Rahul is
likely to expand his team for the same
purpose across India.
Rahul brings with him 15 Years of
experience in sales. Rahul joined Quick Heal
in 2003 and since then worked his way
through the corporate hierarchy to his
current appointment. Along with other
region, he significantly contributed in
developing Mumbai and Goa Region in
Quick Heal. Te decade long association has
helped Rahul in gaining in-depth product
and market knowledge of the company.
Microsoft launched the much awaited
Lumia 630 with the latest Windows Phone
8.1. Te first ever Dual SIM Lumia
smartphone with quad-core processing and
a ClearBlack 4.5” LCD screen, is now selling
for Rs. 11,500 while the single SIM variant
goes for Rs. 10,500. Te Lumia 630 Dual SIM
adds award-winning design and experiences
found on high end Lumia smartphones to the
leading personalization brought by Windows
Phone 8.1. Te Smart Dual SIM innovation
offers the best dual SIM experience on a
smartphone across price points. Two separate
phone and messaging tiles in different
colours keeps calls, contacts, messages and
calendars of each SIM separate – helping
avoid confusion between the two. One can
also link both phone tiles into one and/or
link both messaging tiles into one. It includes
the new Microsoft Enterprise feature pack,
Microsoft Office, OneDrive, Camera, and
HERE Maps and Drive+, a five-megapixel
autofocus camera and advanced imaging
applications like Nokia Camera and
Cinemagraph, SensorCore that brings low
power motion sensing to help people track
their activity all day without using up the
large 1830mAh battery and new matte
polycarbonate design with changeable shells
available in bold new colors bright orange,
bright green and bright yellow, in addition to
matte black and white.
Furthermore, the new Lumia 630 will
come pre-loaded with premium video app
Box TV offering sitcoms, Hollywood, and
Bollywood content, free of cost for 2 months,
free eBooks worth Rs. 2000 on Flipkart, six
free games by Gamesloft for gaming
enthusiasts and the NexGTv app for cricket
fans, allowing them to live streaming all the
IPL action for free. Music fanatics will be
able to get their hands on Coloud Pop
headgear at a 50% discount.
Quick Heal
Rahul Joshi as
Country Manager -
Quick Heal has organized a
corporate channel partner training
program in eight cities across
India to strengthen the company’s
ever-expanding channel partner
network. Te training witnessed
the participation of 316 channel
partners in 10 training
programmes held in cities such as
Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore,
Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur
and Nagpur.
Te training programme is a
unique way of collaborating with
channel partners to co-create
engagement that improves
business relationships and leads to
lasting partner loyalty.
Quick Heal partner network
spread across 60 countries over
the world, collaborates to give
customers the best possible
solutions. Te company takes
pride in assuring that customers
and partners are connected for
mutual benefit. Te company
provides aggressive profit margins
and offers attractive schemes,
making it convenient for partners
to generate more revenue.
Quick Heal provides intensive
training and education to all its
partners. It provides expertise to
sell, manage, integrate, plan, and
provide anti-virus related security
solutions for customers of channel
partners. Te company aims at
building proactive partner
relationships and disseminates
information regularly so as to keep
the partners abreast of company
goals and development plans.
Quick Heal organizes Corporate Channel Partner
Training Programmes in 8 Cities across India
ZOTAC Unveils New ZBOX Sphere
OI520 Series
ZOTAC International has unveiled the
first ZBOX Sphere to let users express
their individuality through
computing. The new ZOTAC ZBOX
Sphere OI520 series combines a
unique orb form factor with a
powerful 4th Generation Intel Core i5
processor for computing with a touch
of individuality. Inside the ZOTAC
ZBOX Sphere OI520 series is a
high-performance 4th Generation
Intel Core i5 4200U processor with
Intel HD Graphics 4400 for an
excellent computing experience rich
in high-definition content and snappy
multi-tasking responsiveness.
Plenty of internal expansion enables
the ZOTAC ZBOX Sphere OI520 series
to accommodate a 2.5-inch SATA 6.0
Gb/s hard drive or
and two DDR3L
SO-DIMM slots to
easily create a
powerful stylish
Support for Intel
Smart Response
Technology makes
supercharging hard disk
drives in the ZOTAC ZBOX
Sphere OI520 series easy. By
combining accelerating the internal
hard disk drive with an mSATA SSD,
the ZOTAC ZBOX Sphere OI520 series
provides the lightning-fast boot and
application load times of an SSD with
the large capacity of a hard drive.
23 June 2014 Computer active
Wireless 802.11ac and Gigabit Ethernet
ensures the ZOTAC ZBOX Sphere OI520 series
delivers high-speed networking performance
with or without wires. Bluetooth 4.0
connectivity makes adding wireless
peripherals to the ZOTAC ZBOX Sphere OI520
series easy and hassle-free.
26 Computer active June 2014
Protect Your Tech
Scams and threats to avoid, plus new security tools
One of the more unsettling
things about using a phone or
tablet is how many apps
request permission to access
more information about you
and your device than they
actually need in order to
function. Google used to offer
a solution with its App Ops
tool in Android, which let you
decide which permissions to
grant, but the company
removed it just before
Christmas, prompting
complaints from privacy
SnoopWall is an impressive
new Android app that aims to
give you more control. It
shows you what data and
which ports each app on your
device can access, then gives
you the option to block
permission. This part of the
app is free, though you can
upgrade for an annual
subscription for $9.95
for more features.
New tools
What happened?
Security researchers discovered a
copycat version of CryptoLocker, the
deadly ransomware that has attacked
more than 250,000 computers over
the past few months, encrypting files
until the victim pays the hackers.
CryptoLocker 2.0 pretends to be an
updater for Adobe Photoshop and
Microsoft Office on sites used by P2P
file-sharers, which means the
criminals can infect PCs without
having to send email spam. The first
CryptoLocker often arrived in a spam
email disguised as a PDF, within a .zip
The new version is a worm, not a
Trojan like the original, and replicates
itself across numerous computers by
hiding on a USB stick. This is especially
worrying for businesses and
organisations because the infected
computer can target other PCs on the
Experts believe this second attack
may be the work of opportunistic
criminals reverse-engineering the first
CrypoLocker. It’s thought they target
file-sharers in the belief they’ll be less
likely to report the attack because they
won’t want to reveal they have illegally
downloaded files.
Both versions of CryptoLocker work
in the same way – scanning the
target’s PC for files matching a set of
file extensions, then encrypting them
and displaying a message that
demands a ransom, payable within 72
hours, to have your files decrypted.
Currently the ransom is around 0.5
Bitcoins (£250).
What should I do?
As Trend Micro explains in its blog
(www.snipca.com/11103), you should
always download software from the
official site, or a reputable alternative,
never from P2P sites. Also, make sure
you never insert your USB stick into
an unfamiliar device, or borrow sticks
from people you don’t trust. Back up
your most precious files to protect
them. See our feature in Issue 412
for help on combatting the original
CryptoLocker 2.0
· f.Iux
· Skitch
· Automizc
· Kics 8
· SupcrSimpIc Vidco Convcrtcr
· IibrcOm cc 4.2.4
· CcIcancr 4.I.8
· WinRAR S.0I
· MoziIIa Fircfox 29
· Iobit UninstaIIcr 8
· PowcrISO
· FiIc Scavcngcr
Full Software
Productivity :
Multimedia & Entertainment :
Of ce :
Utilities :
CD Contents
28 Computcr activc June 2014
Dear Readers,
Tis month’s full software burns discs quickly, easily,
with maximum quality and minimum hassle. It
includes everything you need to be able to do that.
And it excludes everything that could get in the way.
An exciting feature is the ability to burn blue ray discs.
Besides this, the CD includes a plethora of useful
utilities and software.
PS:-Please reach us on ca@nextgenpublishing.net with
your suggestions. Some of the software provided on
this disc requires a product key from the publisher.
June 2014
From the Editor
Best Free Software
32 Computer active June 2014
Brilliant new programs that won’t cost you anything
Lots of programs let you build
photo slideshows, but few are as
fast and simple to use as Total
Free Slideshow Maker. Select
your photos, choose your
music, click Output to choose
a name and a location to save
your slideshow to, then click
Start ' and that's all there is to
it. Slideshows are saved as Avl
files and a choice of resolutions
are available. You'll need to
untick some optional browser
toolbars during installation.
Choose'Custom installation
(advanced)'and untick lnstall
Tune-Up Utilities 2014 if you
don't want this.
Slideshow creator
Total Free Slideshow Maker
What you need: Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8
picasa.google.com What you need: Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8
To use Picasa’s photo-
syncing and share features,
sign in with your Google
account in the top-right
corner. You’ll then remain
signed in whenever you start
the program, unless you
click Sign Out.
You can back up your
photos by syncing any folder
or album of photos with your
Google+ online storage.
Choose the folder or album
on the left then click ‘Sync
to web’.
In the ‘Sync Album to
web’ dialogue box that
appears, click Sync to
upload your photos. If
you’re backing up your
images, click Change
Settings first.
For best back-up quality,
select ‘Original size (slowest
upload)’ from the ‘Default
upload size’ dropdown
menu, then tick the box
next to ‘Preserve original
image quality’
and click OK.
Te latest version of Google’s
photo-organising and
editing tool offers improved
integration with Google+,
the search company’s social network.
Tat might not sound terribly
exciting but, as part of these
improvements, Picasa now includes a
handy tool that automatically backs
up all your photos to online storage.
Even if you don’t use the Google+
social network, this is a great way to
keep copies of your photos safely in
the cloud, and it also means you can
view your photos on other devices,
such as tablets and smartphones,
without having to transfer them from
your PC, simply by signing into
Google+ and tapping on Photos or
When you launch Picasa for the
first time, select the ‘Search my
whole computer for pictures’ option.
Tis guarantees the program will find
all your photos, even if you haven’t
been particularly organised about
where you store them. Click Continue
and choose which file types you want
to automatically associate with the
Picasa Photo Viewer (or click ‘Don’t
use Picasa Photo Viewer’ if you
prefer), then click Finish. At this point
you’ll receive the option to enable
Auto Back-up – this will automatically
save copies of your photos to Google+.
For those who don’t want the
complexity – or the cost –
of high-end photo tools,
such as Adobe Photoshop
Elements, Google’s Picasa
provides the perfect
antidote. It’s free, simple to
use and includes many
useful tools for improving
your images. During
installation, if you don’t
want to send Google data
on how you use the web or
don’t want Google as your
default search engine, opt
out of these options.
34 Computer active June 2014
An iPad version of Microsoft Office is
long overdue, but it’s finally here four
years after the launch of Apple’s first
tablet and, somewhat surprisingly, it’s
arrived before the promised touch-
friendly version for Windows 8. The
suite comes as a series of four
separate apps – Word, Excel,
PowerPoint and OneDrive. While the
apps are free to download, you’ll need
an Office 365 subscription to edit your
files. Without one, you can only view
An Offi ce 365 Home Premium
subscription costs Rs. 4,199 per year or
Rs,420 per month. You can then install
Offi ce on up to five iPads and up to five
PCs or Macs. It’s great if your household
has lots of devices, but excessive if you
have only one tablet. A cheaper
subscription for just one iPad and one
computer has been promised for later
this year.
To get your files into the Office apps,
you either transfer them from your
computer via USB or save them to
Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage
service. Five OneDrive accounts with 27GB
of storage each are included with a Home
Premium subscription. If you make
changes to your files when you’re not
online, the changes are stored and
uploaded when you next connect. If you
edit a file on your PC before your iPad has
had a chance to upload its changes, both
versions are retained as two separate files.
Unlike the Google Drive app, you can’t
simultaneously work on a file with others
and see their changes in real time. Offi ce
does have a “save and refresh” feature that
lets collaborators update their documents
with each other’s changes and upload their
own modifications. Tis works fairly well, but
isn’t as smooth or convenient as Google’s
method. Word’s file format is .docx, Excel’s
Microsoft Office for iPad
The world’s most popular of ce suite fnally arrives on the iPad
is .xlsx, and PowerPoint’s is .pptx. You can
import older Offi ce file formats (such as
.doc), but you can’t import non-Microsoft
formats such as .rtf, .txt and .csv.
In appearance, the iPad version of Word
is similar to both Word 2013 and Word
Online (a pared-down version which
anyone can use to edit documents in a
web browser), but its features are closer
to the web-based version. The Ribbon
toolbar’s Home tab includes a highlighter,
text-formatting options (such as font size
and bullet points), and text-positioning
tools (such as indentations). Other tabs
let you add tables, photos, hyperlinks
and a variety of shaped text boxes, while
others control document orientation,
page size, margins, headers and footers.
The all-important spelling checker and
word count box are also present, as are
change-tracking and commenting tools.
The onscreen keyboard is fiddly to use for
anything other than small edits, so a
Bluetooth keyboard will be essential for
typing longer projects.
However, a number of significant features
are conspicuous by their absence.
Although you can use templates, there are
no document-formatting themes and the
app lacks Word 2013’s citation and
bibliography features. The most glaring
omission is the ability to print, which is
also missing from Excel and PowerPoint,
although Microsoft promises it will be
available in future versions. Despite these
omissions, this tablet version of
Microsoft’s word processor is still
remarkably sophisticated.
New Products tested by our experts
35 June 2014 Computer active 35
Computeractive’s reviewers follow
strict guidelines to ensure the
opinions expressed in the magazine
are fair, accurate and independent.
Every product or service we review
is thoroughly examined and tested
by experts.
The manufacturer has no
involvement in our tests and is
never told the result of a review
prior to publication. Please note that
our reviews grade products, not
customer service. We welcome
feedback on our reviews –
send us an email to
We provide a clear verdict for every
product we review. Each verdict is
accompanied by a star rating. Here’s
what those stars mean:
An excellent purchase ★★★★★
A good purchase ★★★★☆
OK by us ★★★☆☆
Below average quality
Very poor quality ★☆☆☆☆
Our Buy It! stamp of
approval is a sign that a
product has exceeded
our high expectations
in both quality and
value. If you see the Buy It! logo you
know we were impressed with the
product and we think you will be
too. The Try It! Stamp is our
equivalent award for software and
services that are free of charge.
The prices we print are the
suggested retail prices set by the
manufacturer. Products can often be
found much cheaper on the internet
or in shops.
While we try to keep our reviews
free from technical language or
jargon, it is sometimes unavoidable.
See the Jargon Buster column for
concise explanations of highlighted
VERDICT: Te apps are slick and easy
to use, but a high subscription price and
inability to print limit their appeal
INFO: www.snipca.com/11876
Excel is the best designed and most
powerful spreadsheet app we’ve seen on
iOS. It has a number of useful document
templates, including invitation trackers,
invoices and inventory lists, while a tab on
the Ribbon toolbar gives you Excel’s full
range of calculation formulas, from simple
sums to complex logic and trigonometry
calculations. Usefully,
Excel has its own customised onscreen
keyboard for faster data entry.
You can sort the data in a worksheet in
ascending or descending order and even
create a few simple graphs, although
advanced graphing options such as Pivot
Tables are not available. Although it’s simple
to select specific groups of cells, the range of
options for sorting a specific selection is
limited, so you’d have to copy it into a new
sheet if you want to work with it easily.
Unsurprisingly, you can’t run or create macros
either. Despite these limitations, Excel is still
by far the best iOS spreadsheet app we’ve
Most people will probably only ever use the
PowerPoint app to give a presentation
rather than edit one. For giving
presentations there’s little to distinguish
PowerPoint from its rivals. If you do need to
edit a presentation, all the most important tools
are here. It’s straightforward to adjust the
size of pictures and the formatting of text.
There are a variety of templates available to
provide a consistent look for your
presentation, plus a wide range of wipes,
fades and other transitions that you can
apply when moving from one slide to the
next. The only absent feature that
we really miss is the option to
add video clips to your slides, as
you can with Apple’s rival
Keynote app.
Office for iPad has an excellent,
easy-to-grasp user interface, and
while it doesn’t have all the
features of its desktop PC
counterpart, it does have most of
the tools you’re likely to need
every day. The apps opened all
our test files, from Excel
spreadsheets laden with graphs
and calculated fields to heavily formatted
Word documents, missing only a couple of
third-party fonts we’d used when creating
them on our desktop PC. Rival Office-
compatible apps will often mangle such
complex files. Te inability to print is irritating
and is especially odd as rival Offi ce-
compatible apps offer this option. A bigger
problem is price. If you don’t have multiple
devices in your household or don’t frequently
work on complex files with other people, then
£60 a year is pretty steep. While the Offi ce
apps are still great, most people can get by
with less powerful but cheaper alternatives
such as Google Drive and Apple’s iWork apps.
36 Computer active June 2014
some clips together, trim them, fix colours,
add text and export the finished video or
upload to YouTube. Its simplicity works to its
advantage, and is in stark contrast to the
complex mess you’ll
find in the main program.
Magix Movie Edit Pro 2014 Premium
is a powerful video editor, but its poorly
designed interface makes it too confusing and
intimidating for most users. Movie Edit Touch
(available separately) is a useful extra. We’d
happily pay for it and stick to a less fussy rival
editor such as Sony Movie Studio Platinum 13
for our mouse-driven editing sessions.
Magix Movie Edit Pro 2014 Premium
Plenty of features, but the magic is missing
VERDICT: It improves on previous versions,
but using this video editor still feels like
hard work
INFO: www.magix.com
Magix’s video-editing programs have always
come packed with powerful features –
effects, transitions, text animations, and
support for up to 99 tracks for complex video
montages. But in previous versions all this
came wrapped in a dense, buggy, confusing
interface that could be particularly
intimidating for new users. We hoped that
Movie Edit Pro 2014 would be the version to
put these problems right.
Tis latest update got off to a bad start,
offering to install superfluous utilities, while
holding back on the advertised bundled
plug-ins we did want. Tese plug-ins must be
installed after the main program is installed,
via a submenu in the Help menu.
Once the installation process was over, Movie
Edit Pro 2014 Premium began to make a
much better impression. Performance is
much improved, particularly when adding
video clips to multiple tracks. While the
previous version managed four simultaneous
videos before playback began to falter, on our
test PC this one delivered seven.
Te software now supports 4K video, which
contains four times as many pixels as the
more common 1080p video resolution (see
page 49 for more on 4K). Tere aren’t many
4K cameras available at the moment, but
that’s likely to change over the next couple of
years, so it’s good to have software that’s
ready to handle it.
We were impressed to see smooth playback
when editing a single 4K video, but when we
tried to overlay a second clip or create a
gradual transition from one to another,
playback glitches occurred. Movie Edit Pro
gets around this with a new editing mode.
Tis generates temporary lower-resolution
copies of your 4K footage to lighten the load
on your PC when editing, reverting back
to the original when it’s time to export.
Our excitement about being able to edit 4K
video was soon extinguished when we
discovered that there’s actually no way to
export at that resolution, defeating the point
of shooting and editing 4K video. Te
highest-quality export setting is 1080p.
Sadly, there’s been no significant overhaul to
the overly complex interface. Te dense,
long-winded menus and confusing Help
section made it hard to find our way around.
Right-clicking a video clip on the timeline
reveals no less than 60 functions, which even
experienced users are likely to find
bewildering. Te 4K low-res editing mode
mentioned above is turned off by default and
turning it on isn’t easy.
Unlike the cheaper standard and Plus
editions, the Premium edition includes two
extra plug-ins which provide advanced colour
effects, and animated text and graphics.
Tey’re both powerful but far from beginner-
friendly and they don’t integrate neatly with
the rest of the software. We were much more
impressed by the separate Windows 8
touchscreen version of the program, Movie
Edit Touch (which is also included with the
Plus edition but not the standard edition). It
has a stripped-back interface and a bare
minimum of functions, but enough to throw
New Products tested by our experts
37 June 2014 Computer active
Ashampoo WinOptimizer 11
Tuning Specialist for the PC
VERDICT: Software light on resources and
very easy to use v

INFO: http://ashampoo.com
Tere are a number of reasons for PC
performance to slow down over time and
tools like Ashampoo’s WinOptimizer 11
comes to our rescue.
Te latest version of WinOptimizer builds
upon the previous version with better
performance and less resource
consumption, thanks to enhanced core
algorithms and optimised program code.
An app that tinkers with the system should
be easy to use and we’re happy to report
that WinOptimizer 11 excels on this front.
Users are greeted with a three simple
menus – Clean Up, Optimize and Protect, it
automatically starts searching for stuff that
can be removed or optimised based on a set
of questions the software asks initially.
However, if you’re comfortable with
tinkering the settings a little further,
WinOptimizer 11 also gives you an option to
individually run each module, depending on
user’s preferences. Tere are over 30
modules to choose from that ranges from
one click optimizer to defrag to uninstall
WinOptimizer 11 also features User Rights
Manager, an in-depth module to customise
privileges for individual Windows user and
Game Booster that disables all
non-essential Windows processes to free
memory for better gaming experience.
It’s low memory footprint and improved
user interface makes it easier than ever even
for a novice to free up space, fix file system
errors and ensure smooth PC performance.
38 Computer active June 2014
HTC One (M8)
A great Android phone weighed down by too many gimmicks
VERDICT: A very impressive Android
phone, but it’s not quite good enough to
justify its high price

INFO: www.htc.com/in
The original HTC One was one of
our favourite Android phones of
2013, and it has now been
superseded by the snappily named
HTC One (M8). Although the M8
does have some eye-catching new
features, it is for the most part a
refinement of its predecessor
than a radical departure.
The first thing you’ll notice is how
well made the M8 is. The brushed-
metal casing now has a shiny,
glossy sheen, making it by far the
best-looking Android phone we’ve
seen. Despite this glossy finish it
doesn’t slip from your grip and is
also exceptionally sturdy. However,
because of its large 5in screen and
stereo speakers, it’s pretty big.
This makes it tricky to hold and use
with one hand, especially if your
hands are small.
The screen and speakers are great
though. The screen is bright with
good colour accuracy and, because
of its 1080p resolution, text is
razor sharp. Our only quibble is that
its touch sensing is a little
over-responsive. Resting our thumb on the
right-hand edge of the screen often
triggered unwanted gestures. The loud,
clear speakers, meanwhile, are the best
we’ve heard on any phone.
Unusually the M8 has not one, but two
rear-facing cameras. HTC claims the
second camera provides extra data, giving
photos a greater sense of depth by gently
blurring out the background, so that the
foreground appears even sharper. It’s an
impressive effect usually only found on
CSC and DSLR cameras. On the M8 the
effect was inconsistent. Some photos
benefited from it, while others didn’t, with
no discernible rhyme or reason. You can
change which section of a photo is in focus
by simply tapping on the desired area. This
refocusing effect is similar to that achieved
by the Lytro camera. The
results were often unconvincing though
– reminiscent of someone clumsily
applying a blurring effect in Photoshop.
Away from these gimmicks, photo quality
in bright daylight and dimly lit conditions
was sharp with accurate colours. Zooming
in even slightly, however, revealed a lot of
noise and a lack of detail. This is because
the sensor only has four megapixels.
Battery life was great in our tests.
When used for making calls, taking photos,
browsing the web and Google Maps, the
M8 lasted over 30 and a half hours on 3G.
Callers reported that our voice sounded
fuzzy, while the phone failed to block out
the noise of a nearby construction site
Useful improvements over its predecessor
include a micro SD slot for adding more
storage. The new
quad-core processor is
very fast, loading
demanding apps and
complex webpages
with ease.
You can use the M8’s
various orientation
sensors in some clever
ways. For example, you
can simply raise the
phone to your ear to
answer a call or double
tap the screen to wake
the phone up. HTC also
sells a case for the M8
with a perforated
screen cover. Double
tap the screen with the
cover on and icons for
certain information,
such as the time,
weather and alerts for
new voicemails or
texts, shine through the
cover offering a
Teletext-style effect.
These are useful, if
somewhat minor,
The HTC One (M8) has excellent
build quality, long battery life and
impressive performance. However,
its camera is flawed and many of its new
features are gimmicky at best.
It’s still a great Android phone, but for
most people there’s not enough here to
justify the extra expense over the
excellent Motorola Moto G.
40 Computer active June 2014
WD Black2 Dual Drive
LG LAP340 SoundPlate
2.5-inch drive that pairs SSD and HDD
A slim audio accessory to complement the TV
Hybrid drives have gained a lot of
attention due to its ability to give the best
of both worlds – a hard drive for huge
storage and NAND flash memory for
speed. However, hybrid drives don’t offer
users the liberty to what data can be
stored on the HDD and what data on the
SSD. Everything is controlled by software,
it decides, the most accessed data is on
SSD while HDD hosts the less frequently
accessed data. Thankfully, WD tries to give
that control back to the user with their
Black² Dual Drive.
The drive is aptly named as Dual Drive
because it integrates two storage drives in
a single body. It fuses a 1TB HDD along
with a 120GB SSD storage in a 2.5-inch
chassis and fits in a conventional 9.5mm
slot, making it ideal for laptop users.
Setting up the Black
is somewhat
interesting because on the first install, the
VERDICT: A good dual drive concept but
comes at a high price
★★★ ☆
INFO: http://wd.com
VERDICT: Good audio quality that enhances
the video watching experience on TVs
★★★ ☆
INFO: http://lg.com/in
LG tries to redefine the home audio
category with the LAP340 SoundPlate.
Unlike many audio solutions we’ve seen in
the market, the SoundPlate is a flat and
compact, which LG
reckons is a perfect
accessory to enhance
television audio quality
and under-the-TV
Te svelte SoundPlate
is just 35mm above the base and the slim
chassis houses neodymium speakers and
dual sub-woofers beneath the attractive
design. Te LED light is concealed on the
front side while the back just features a port
for plugging in power, an optical-in to
connect to the TV and some controls.
All the SoundPlate needs is the optical-in
to connect to the TV and if you own a
supported LG TV, you can easily connect
with Wireless Sound Sync via Bluetooth. Te
SoundPlate also supports other Bluetooth-
enabled devices that can be used to play the
music, thus acting as a wireless speaker for
mobile devices.
As far as audio quality goes, SoundPlate’s
neodymium speakers output a good 4.1
channel surround sound and a decent bass
drive will only detect the
120GB SSD. To make the
PC recognise the 1TB
HDD, we need to
install additional
drivers from WD’s
website. WD
bundles a USB
key that
redirects to the
download page
where a user can
download the drivers or
software to clone the existing hard drive.
There are helpful video tutorials that aids
users to setup the dual drive.
Performance of the WD Black
understandably fast with the SSD clocking
at around 410MB/s for read and about
120MB/s for write. On the hard drive side,
it’s the 5400RPM HDD that offers
capacious storage.
Overall, we feel
WD Black
does its
job well but is marred
by its high asking price.
The WD Black² retails for
Rs. 18,500 in India and
you should consider one
only when you really need
best of both, the high speed
with SSD and large storage
with HDD.
with the built-in dual sub-woofers. Te
audio is crisp with good low and high
frequencies and satisfactory bass. Te
Cinema Mode button on the remote control
also helps to enhance the audio quality
while watching a movie.
LG LAP340 SoundPlate has been
designed for users who don’t want to
compromise on the audio quality and
aesthetics. It retails for Rs. 30,990 in
42 Computer active June 2014
Moto E
Smartphone targeted at the masses
The entry-level smartphone market is
where the competition is the fiercest and
last month, Motorola announced its arrival
of the Moto E. The phone has garnered a
lot of eye balls simply because of its
features to price ratio. But is the device
worth the hype? We take an in-depth
With fierce competition from Indian and
global mobile manufacturers, Motorola
knew they had to offer something
lucrative and Moto E seems to be the
culmination of that effort. The phone has
a very premium design, unlike others
smartphones in this price range. The
removable back comes in a matte plastic
finish that can be swapped with other
colourful removable back covers. There’s
no front facing camera but it features a
4.3-inch display and speakers on the front
with power and volume buttons at the
side and the 3.5mm headphone jack and
microUSB port at top and bottom
The 4.3-inch display supports a qHD
resolution (960x540) that results in a
pixel density of 256ppi which is decent
enough for sharp text. The display has
Corning Glass 3 and anti-smudge coat to
protect the screen from smudges and it
add reliability. The viewing angle of the
display is not that great but satisfactory
for the price.
Moto E is powered by a 1.2GHz
dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200
processor and 1GB RAM and the best part
of the device is that it runs the latest
version of Android OS – Android KitKat
4.4.2 with minimum interface
customisation. To cut the performance
story short, it’s one of the best we’ve
experienced in this price range. In fact, we
feel the phone beats some of the higher
priced phones that are bogged down by
heavy user interface changes. Graphic
games like Virtua Tennis also play well
with no lag, thus confirming Adreno 302’s
graphical prowess.
Moto E supports Dual
SIM, FM Radio and has 4GB of internal
memory with support for microSD card
slot for media and apps.
The only area where Moto E disappoints
is the camera. Sure, it can take pictures
with 5MP resolution but the sensor lacks
auto focus, resulting in blurry pictures
VERDICT: Bad camera but otherwise a
great phone at an affordable price

INFO: http://motorola.com
unless you have really steady hands.
The lack of LED flash doesn’t help
either. Moto E also shines with its
battery life and even though Moto E
features a 1980mAh battery, it can
easily run for more than a day with
mixed usage of calls, music, games
and surfing.
Moto E is a great device and will most
likely do what Moto G did for Motorola in
the lower-mid-range segment. The
camera is the only gripe we have but if
you’re looking to get past that, Moto E
gives you little reason to complain.
The phone sells for Rs. 6,999 on
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44 Computer active June 2014
PowerSafe PB 10400 Power Bank
A compact power bank with ample battery capacity
Smartphones and tablets are being improved
continuously terms of processing performance
and software enhancement, however, one of the
most neglected aspects is battery life.
Adding to the crowded market is Kunhar
Peripheral’s PowerSafe range of battery pack.
We try out the 10400mAh variant to see if it’s
worth the investment.
Te PowerSafe PB 10400 is compact and
pocketable but is a bit heavy, considering the
large battery that is housed inside. Te design is
decent, with coloured edges that give the battery
pack a trendy look. Te top side of the power
bank sports 4 LED lights that show the
remaining battery life and a power button. Tere
are two full size USB ports at the side along with
a microUSB port and another LED light in the
centre that acts as a torch when you long press
the power button.
We were more than happy with the
PowerSafe PB 10400. A full charge of the
battery pack allows a Galaxy S5 to be charged
for more than three cycles and it’s also possible
to recharge two gadgets at a time. Te first USB
port charges at 1.5A – ideal for smartphones and
second at 2.1A, suitable for tablets.
Another good thing about this power bank is
that it packs a lot of connectors. It doesn’t matter
if you have an iPhone 4 with a regular 30-pin
connector or an iPhone 5 with Lightning cable
support or a regular device supporting microUSB
for charging. Te power bank comes with variety
of connectors like miniUSB, microUSB, Lightning,
PSP and even supports Apple devices using
30-pin connectors. Te PowerSafe PB 10400
retails Rs. 4,499, which is a little steep if you’re
looking for a high capacity power bank.
Samsung Gear 2
Samsung’s second attempt in smartwatch category
VERDICT: Improves on the predecessor
on every aspect but needs to support non-
Samsung devices
★★★ ☆

INFO: http://samsung.com/in
Samsung’s first Android-powered
smartwatch – the Galaxy Gear had its
advantages but at the end of the day, it was
a watch that an average folk wouldn’t want it
around the wrist. Add the price factor to
Galaxy Gear’s lukewarm response. Samsung
learned their lesson and have come back
with a more serious attempt with the Gear 2.
Te Gear 2 loses the Galaxy moniker for a
simple reason – it is not powered by
Android. Instead, the Gear 2 runs Tizen OS,
making it the first wearable device to run on
Intel and Samsung backed platform.
Samsung has also worked on the design
flaws of the Galaxy Gear with one of the
major changes being the camera placement.
Te 2 megapixel camera on the Gear 2 is
placed on the side of the 1.63-inch Super
AMOLED display and not on the strap,
enabling easy service and change the strap
of the Gear 2. Te Gear 2 also supports
regular 22mm straps, which means if you’re
not a fan of the colourful Samsung-made
straps, you can opt for any third-party
22mm strap.
Setting up the Gear 2 is as easy as
downloading the Gear Manager app and
pairing it via Bluetooth. Te Gear 2 allows
users to accept or reject calls, act as a device
locator that activates the sound and light in
case you move away from the device or
install apps and services to the Gear 2 with
the help of the smartphone app. Te 2
megapixel camera takes acceptable quality
pictures and even has the ability to shoot
720p HD videos. It also has a WatchON
remote sensor placed besides the camera
that enables full universal remote control
functionality directly from the watch, S
Voice, media controller, Timer, Weather and
fitness features like heart rate sensor,
pedometer, exercise mode and sleep
tracker. Te heart rate sensor is a handy
addition to a wearable device like Gear 2 as it
can monitor the heart rate while exercising.
Samsung has also improved on the overall
performance with its 1GHz dual-core
processor and 512MB but we feel the battery
life could have been better that lasts around
3 days with moderate use.
While we debate if there’s a need for a
smartwatch in our lives, Gear 2 is a serious
attempt by Samsung and an indication of the
things to come from the Korean company.
However, just like the other wearable
devices from Samsung, the Gear 2 supports
limited number of Samsung devices that
restricts the full potential of the smartwatch.
As of this review, the Gear 2 retails in India
for around Rs. 21,000.
VERDICT: A good quality power bank with a
variety of connectors
★★★ ☆ ☆
INFO: http://kunhar.com
New Products tested by our experts
45 June 2014 Computer active
Samsung Galaxy S5
The next-generation Galaxy S with better hardware, software
Samsung’s Galaxy S range has been a
resounding success for the Korean
company and with the fifth iteration aka
Galaxy S5, Samsung is trying to replicate
the success of the Galaxy S III and Galaxy
Samsung has adopted a different
design for each of its Galaxy S variant
and Galaxy S5 is no different. The
Galaxy S5 may look the same from
the front but it’s the back that has
completely changed. The removable
back now comes with a perforated
pattern and although the design is
plastic yet again, the phone does
look premium and gives a good
sturdy feeling. The phone is also
IP67 certified, making it resistant
to water and dust. As for the
placements, the power and the
volume buttons are located on
each of the sides, a physical
home that doubles up as a
fingerprint sensor on the front, a
microUSB 3.0 port at the bottom and
3.5mm headphone along with infrared port
on the bottom.
Galaxy S5 features a 5.1-inch Super
AMOLED display that supports Full HD
(1080p) resolution. The display is more or
less the same as Galaxy S4 but it’s one of
the nicest displays you’ll find on a
smartphone. The colours are vivid, good
contrast and amazing viewing angle,
thanks to the OLED display panel.
The Galaxy S5 sold in India is somewhat
different from the variant that is being
offered elsewhere. The Indian variant is
powered by Samsung’s own Exynos
octa-core processor along with 2GB RAM.
While we’ve had our apprehensions with
the Exynos processor, Samsung has done
a good job with the Galaxy S5. The phone
is fast, smooth and shows hardly any signs
of lag.
The Android KitKat OS with Samsung’s
TouchWiz interface has been vastly
as well. Samsung has
focused more on the
phone’s software
features rather than being bullish on the
next-generation hardware. The phone
comes with My Magazine – an
aesthetically pleasing tiled layout for
reading, Kids Mode to give children access
to approved apps and games, Private
Mode to hide files from prying eyes, S
Health 3.0, universal remote control
support, and Ultra Power Saving Mode.
The Ultra Power Saving Mode needs a
special mention because it is one of the
most innovative features you’ll see in a
smartphone today. The feature basically
helps to save battery life by turning the
display to grayscale and restrict use to a
few apps.
The Galaxy S5 comes with a fingerprint
scanner and a heart rate sensor. The
fingerprint scanner is located beneath the
physical home button and though the
finger scanning isn’t perfect, it does get
better once you’re used to the swipe.
VERDICT: Improved overall performance
with a very good camera


INFO: http://samsung.com/in
Fingerprint scanning can be used to unlock
the device or even use it to login into
Samsung Apps store and other apps.
The heart rate sensor is located at the
back, just below the 16 megapixel camera.
The heart rate sensor works in conjunction
with the S Health 3.0, making it easy for
users to track their heart rate while
The 16 megapixel camera placed at the
back is another good thing about the
Galaxy S5. It has a fast 0.3 autofocus
and variety of camera modes like HDR,
Selective Focus, Shot & More to spruce
up the picture quality. The picture
quality is great with good colour
reproduction and picture detailing. The
phone is also capable of recording
UHD (4K) videos.
The Galaxy S5 features a 2800mAh
battery and in our tests with mixed use
of 3G, gaming, videos and internet, the
phone lasted for 17 hours and with Ultra
Power Saving Mode, it lasted more than a
The Galaxy S5 is a good package from
Samsung. It improves on things that were
good at and adds some new features to
distinguish from the crowd. While we can
live without a heart rate sensor or a
fingerprint sensor, the camera and overall
performance is very good.
46 Computer active June 2014
Oppo N1
Premium phone from China with innovative features
VERDICT: Pricey but a good phone with
some innovative features
★★★ ☆
INFO: http://www.oppomobile.in
It’s amazing to see how China-based
companies are heating up the competition
in India. First came in Gionee and now
here’s another entrant from our
neighbouring country – Oppo. Oppo
announced the N1 amidst much fanfare in
the Indian market but
let’s find out if it’s worth
all the attention.
The design is the most
interesting part that
makes Oppo N1 stand
out from the
competition. While the
phone looks like
another Android device
from the front, it’s the
back that is different.
Oppo N1 does not have
a front-facing camera
but it features a rotating
13 megapixel camera
that can act as a front
facing camera, if
needed. Secondly, the
back has a small 12cm
O-Touch Panel that acts
as a trackpad for the
device. In short, you’ll
be able to scroll
through the webpages,
images and the menu without having to
flick through the screen.
Overall, we’re fairly happy with the design
and the build quality of the N1 that boasts a
full metal aluminum alloy frame, giving it a
sturdy look.
The display on the Oppo N1 is 5.9-inches
with an IPS panel and Full HD resolution
support. The display has a pixel density of
377ppi and boasts a good picture quality
with improved contrast and colour
The Oppo N1 runs Color OS that is based on
Android 4.2, powered by 1.7GHz quad-core
Snapdragon 600 and 2GB RAM. It’s
important to know that the operating
system is based on Android that builds on
the existing Android codebase with its own
optimisations and user interface
customisations. As for the performance, the
combination of Snapdragon 600 and 2GB
RAM handles the graphic and processing
demands pretty well. The battery is good
for more than a day, thanks to the 3610mAh
We’ve talked about the rotating camera but
the 13 megapixel sensor also produces
some very good images. The N1 supports
f/2.0 wide aperture and an improved dual
LED flash for better low-light pictures. It
supports Full HD video recording support
and scene modes like Panorama, High
Speed, Rewind, Beautify and Slow Shutter.
Oppo also bundles an O-Click control with
the N1 smartphone. The O-Click is
connected with the N1 over Bluetooth and in
case you misplace the device, O-Click
triggers an alarm on the device to retrieve
the phone.
To sum this up, Oppo N1 is no doubt a
good device with some innovative
camera features and O-Touch. However,
the biggest bane we feel for N1 is its
price. The phone retails for a price of
around Rs. 37,000 and considering the
latest flagship phones from companies
like Samsung, Sony are priced around the
same range, N1 is a hard sell.
` 120
June 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 6
tools & utilities
CD with
this issue



ONEY Run Old Versions Of Windows Online
A great Android phone weighed down
by too many gimmicks
Best Windows ‘Fix It’ Solutions
The next-generation Galaxy S with
better hardware, software
Best ever tips for
preventing com
Digital Platform Partners
Now read your favourite magazine wherever you go...
Available on PC... Mac... Tablet... or any other handheld device!
Available on
Computer active June 2014
Make your PC crashproof
Who says computer crashes are inevitable? we look
at what you can do to prevent your PC freezing
- P|nd out how re||ab|e everyth|ng
|n your computer |s
- 5top components overheat|ng and
crash|ng your PC
- Make everyth|ng faster w|th
v|rtua| memory
- Create an emergency PC repa|r k|t to get
your computer work|ng aga|n after a
Windows 7 and 8 computers keep a
log of crashes, problems and incidents and
score your computer for reliability
on a scale of 1 to 10. You can use this
to find out how reliable your computer
is. To use Reliability Monitor in
Windows 7 click Start, search for
‘reliability’ and press Enter. In Windows 8
press Ctrl+C to launch the Charms bar,
then search for ‘reliability’. You’ll now
see a graph showing any problems your
computer has encountered. A red X is
a ‘Critical event’, a yellow warning sign
denotes software that fails to update or
run properly, while a blue symbol shows
information on updates.
When we checked our test PC, we
discovered that one program kept failing to
June 2014 Computer active
Make your PC crashproof
update, while another crashed nearly every
day. Tis information helped us to decide
whether to uninstall the software or try
re-installing it. Tere’s no equivalent to
Reliability Monitor in Windows XP, though
you can press Ctrl+Alt+Del to launch Task
Manager and then click Performance to
see how much of your computer’s
resources are being used. You can use Task
Manager in all versions of Windows.
Work out what’s hogging your
PC’s memory
You can also use Task Manager to find out
whether a program is hogging system
resources. Click the Memory tab and Task
Manager will list processes in order of how
much memory they’re using.
On our test computer we had Google
Chrome open with more than 20 tabs and
could see these were using a huge amount
of memory. Other memory hogs include
photo- and video-editing software and
games. If your computer is running really
slowly, it’s probably low on memory and
your programs may crash. To free up
memory, click End Task next to any
programs that don’t need to be running.
You can do the same in the Processes tab
to stop services running that don’t need to.
Get more virtual memory
If your computer doesn’t have enough
RAM, it’ll start using virtual memory so it
still has enough memory to run programs
and save documents. If Windows runs low
on virtual memory, your computer will
slow to a crawl and may eventually crash,
so you should make sure the computer has
enough virtual memory available.
You should definitely investigate your
virtual memory settings if you start getting
warnings that the PC’s virtual memory is
running low.
To adjust your virtual memory
settings click Start, right-click Computer
then click Properties, ‘Advanced system
settings’, Advanced, Performance, Settings.
Click Advanced again and, under Virtual
Memory, click Change. Untick
‘Automatically manage paging file size for
all drives’ then, under Drive [Volume
Label], click the drive you want to increase
the virtual memory for. Tis will normally
be C. Next, choose a ‘Custom size’ for the
‘Initial size (MB)’ and ‘Maximum size (MB)’
of the virtual memory. Te initial size is
the minimum amount you can select and
is based on the amount of RAM installed in
your computer plus an additional 300MB.
Te maximum size Windows sets by
default is three times the amount of RAM
in your computer. If you change both the
initial and maximum amounts of virtual
memory to higher values, your computer
won’t run out of virtual memory. Click OK
to apply the changes.
Fix driver problems
Badly written drivers can prevent hardware
working properly, while faulty drivers
for components in your computer can
cause it to crash. Use Device Manager to
check for driver problems to make sure
this doesn’t happen. In Windows 7 or 8
go to Start, Control Panel and search for
‘device manager’. In Windows XP click
Start, Control Panel, ‘Performance and
Maintenance’, System and click Device
Manager under Hardware. Any drivers with
errors will have a yellow exclamation mark
next to them. Right-click the driver, then
click Update Driver Software and Windows
will look for a newer version. If Windows
can’t find a suitable driver, try looking for
one at the device manufacturer’s website
or at www.techspot.com/drivers. Windows
will recognise that the file you download is
a driver and will offer to install it for you.
Make Windows slicker
If you use Windows 8 and it starts to slow
down, you can make it run smoothly again
by performing a refresh installation. Tis
won’t delete any of your files, but it will
get rid of any dodgy apps or programs that
may be affecting performance. Refreshing
Windows 8 will also remove any apps and
programs you’ve installed, so you’ll need to
reinstall them afterwards.
To refresh Windows 8 press Ctrl+C to open
the Charms menu, then type refresh in the
search box and click ‘Refresh your PC
without affecting your files’. In the
Recovery settings screen that appears click
‘Get started’. Windows 8 will spend
Use Task Manager to close software that’s
using too much memory
Check Reliability Monitor to see recurring
PC problems
Increase your PC’s virtual memory so it runs
more smoothly
Keep your drivers up to date to stop hardware
Computer active June 2014
Make your PC crashproof
Another useful way to ensure your hard
drive doesn’t cause your computer to crash
is to regularly defragment your hard drive.
To do this, click Computer, right-click your
hard drive, then click Properties, Tools,
‘Defragment now’.
a few minutes preparing everything. Click
Next when the option to do so appears.
Your photos, videos and other documents
will remain in place, but all your installed
apps and programs will be deleted. If
you’re happy to proceed, click Next to start
the refresh.
Tere’s no equivalent option for refreshing
Windows XP or 7, and we don’t advise
reinstalling Windows if there are no
particular problems with it. However,
you can use System Restore to get rid of
newly installed programs that are causing
your PC problems. To do this, go to Start,
Control Panel, type System Restore and
click ‘Restore your computer to an earlier
time’. Windows creates a Restore Point
whenever you install a new program,
indicated by a bold calendar entry. Click a
date prior to when you installed the faulty
program to get rid of it.
For programs that you haven’t recently
installed, but which are causing PC
problems, go to Control Panel, Programs,
‘Uninstall a program’ and click the
program’s entry. If there’s an option
to do so, click Repair. If there isn’t a
repair option, uninstall the program and
download a newer version, if there is one.
Check your hard drive for
Over time, hard drives can develop errors
that make your computer crash. Using
Windows’ built-in tools you can check the
health of your drives so you can head off
any problems before they occur. To scan
your computer’s drives click Computer,
right-click your hard drive, click Properties
and, under Tools, click ‘Check now’. Tick
both ‘Automatically fix file system errors’
and ‘Scan for and attempt recovery of bad
sectors’ then click Start. Windows can’t
access your main hard drive while you’re
using your computer, so click ‘Schedule
disk check’ when a message offering this
option appears.
Check for hard-drive errors that might
cause your PC to crash
By refreshing Windows 8, you can delete
badly written apps and prevent crashes
Close unused open ports to make Windows
Firewall impenetrable
Use Panda USB Vaccine to stop USB memory
sticks installing malicious software
Computers often crash because
malicious software finds its way on to them
and stops important processes running or
tries to take over your computer. To stop
this happening, it’s vital you keep your
antivirus software up to date. Launch your
antivirus program and click its Update or
‘Update now’ option. If you hadn’t updated
your security software for a while prior to
this, you should also run a manual scan of
your computer to check for any malware
that may have snuck on to your PC in the
Next, check that Windows Firewall or the
one included in your security program is
switched on. In Windows 7 you can check
Windows Firewall is running by going
to Control Panel, System and Security,
Windows Firewall and clicking ‘Check
firewall status’. If you use Windows XP, you
need to click Control Panel, Security Center
and check whether Windows Firewall is
on. If it isn’t, click Enable Now to turn it on.
Some programs need to open ports on your
computer in order to run. However, these
ports shouldn’t be left open once they’re no
longer being used because a virus can use
them as a way into your computer.
To check for open ports launch Windows
Firewall, click ‘Allow a program or feature
through Windows Firewall’, then ‘Change
settings’. Now untick any programs that
don’t need access through your firewall. If
you’ve ever used a peer-to-peer program
such as BitTorrent, it will appear in the list
of Allowed Programs. If you don’t recognise
a program, use a search engine to check its
purpose before unticking its entry in the
Allowed Programs list. Click OK to confirm
the changes. USB memory sticks and
hard drives sometimes contain viruses, so
never allow them to run on your computer
without first scanning them. If there’s an
infected file on the drive, it could be set to
autorun when you plug it in, causing your
computer to crash. Use Panda USB Vaccine
(www.snipca.com/10714) to scan every drive
as soon as it’s plugged into your computer. It
won’t remove malicious files, but will block
them from installing on your computer.
Click the ‘Vaccinate computer’ option to
disable the autorun feature in Windows.
June 2014 Computer active
Make your PC crashproof
When your PC gets too hot, it shuts down
to stop its components getting damaged.
Here’s how to work out whether it’s about
to overheat.
Check your PC’s temperature
Telltale signs that your PC’s too hot include
whirring from the hard drive and the fan
being noisier than usual. Te most common
causes of overheating are the fan grilles
being clogged and the laptop or PC being
placed somewhere where there’s no place
for the air that the fan extracts to go. Placing
your laptop on a raised stand, so the fan on
its base isn’t blocked, will immediately help.
If you have a desktop PC, make sure the fan
side of the case isn’t placed up against a wall
or another obstruction. If a room is too hot
for you to sit in, chances are your computer
will also overheat, so open a window or
You can use the free SpeedFan tool (www.
snipca.com/10541) to check the temperature
of your computer. Its Readings tab indicates
the temperature of your hard drive, graphics
card and processor and whether any of
them are too hot. If they are, they’ll have a
flame icon next to them.
SpeedFan doesn’t tell you why your PC
or laptop is overheating. However, if your
laptop is set to Performance Mode and
SpeedFan shows the processor is too
hot, you should change the Power Mode
to Balanced. If you’ve been using your
computer for several hours and SpeedFan
indicates it’s very hot, it’s a good idea to
Use SpeedFan to find out if your computer is
too hot or heating up rapidly
Fit an extra fan to your PC’s case to improve
power down for half an hour or so to give
your computer time to recover.
Get your duster out
Dust building up inside your computer
can cause it to stop working completely,
so you need to get rid of it. You’ll need a
can of compressed air, which you can buy
from a hardware or electronics shop, and
some cotton buds. Turn off your computer
and unplug the power cable at the back,
then carefully take off the side of the case
without the fan grille. Without touching
any of the components inside, use the
compressed air to blow away the dust and
a cotton bud to clear the fans, but not the
You can use a cotton bud to brush away dust
from the outside of a laptop, but it’s not easy
to get inside a laptop to clean it. Opening
your laptop case to clean or upgrade it
will also void your warranty. If this doesn’t
worry you or your laptop is no longer under
warranty, make sure you’re very careful
unscrewing the casing and cleaning inside.
We don’t recommend you do it unless you
have the maintenance manual for your
laptop to hand. If you don’t have a manual,
you should be able to find one for your
laptop model on the Repair 4 Laptops
website (www.snipca.com/10543).
Fit another fan
If SpeedFan shows your desktop computer
is overheating, you should install an extra
fan to cool the components more effi ciently.
Tere should be a spare slot on the back
of your PC case to add an extra fan. To
check which size fan to install measure the
distance between the screw holes either side
of the grille on the case. If it’s 72mm you
need an 80mm fan, while a measurement of
105mm means you need a 120mm fan. Turn
off your computer and disconnect it from
the mains before opening your PC’s case to
fit the new fan. Now place the fan against
the grilled section you measured earlier. Te
screw holes should match up with the screw
holes in the PC case; if they don’t you’ve
got the wrong size. Position the fan so the
arrow showing the direction of airflow
points away from the computer, then screw
the fan securely into place. Next, you need
to connect the fan to your computer. If your
fan has a cable with a large four-pin head,
you can plug it straight into the matching
cable coming from the power-supply unit. If
your fan doesn’t plug into the power supply,
it may have a small connector that plugs
directly into the motherboard. In this case,
there’ll be a four-pin connector marked FAN
or REAR FAN on the motherboard where
you can plug in the cable. Once everything’s
connected, reassemble your PC and
reconnect it to the power.
Use compressed air to safely clean the inside of your laptop
Computer active June 2014
Make your PC crashproof
No matter what you do to try to prevent
them, major crashes can happen. But
if you’ve planned ahead, it needn’t be a
cause for panic. Te free PC recovery kit
we’re about to create will quickly get your
PC running again or at least allow you to
easily access your files. You’ll need a USB
stick with about 2GB of space.
Create an emergency
operating system
If Windows won’t even boot, having a
back-up operating system that lets you
get to your files and even search online
for solutions to the problem is invaluable.
SystemRescueCD is exactly that – a
very basic operating system with a web
browser and some other tools to help you
get at your files if Windows stops working.
What’s more, the whole thing can be
installed and run from a USB stick.
First, get a spare USB stick with a capacity
of 1GB or more. Navigate to Computer,
right-click the memory stick and select
Format. Under ‘File system’ pick FAT32,
then click Start and OK. Now go to www.
sysresccd.org/Download. If you see a large
green Download button ignore it because
it’s an advert. Instead look into the box
below it and click the blue ‘SourceForge
download’ link (see screenshot above).
Te 423MB file could take a while to
download depending on your connection
speed. You also need to download an
installer. Go to www.snipca.com/10617
and the installer will automatically
Once you’ve got Windows set up just as
you like it, it’s worth creating an ISO of its
current state that you can use as a system
repair disc to reinstall Windows after a
crash or hard-drive failure. Tis can be
used to get back your current version of
Windows, complete with all your settings
and files, if your computer stops working.
In Windows 7 or Vista you’ll just need a
blank DVD or an external hard drive on
which to burn the ISO file containing the
system repair disc. You’ll also need to have
administrator rights on the computer.
Create a recovery drive of Windows 8 on a
USB disk – but delete its contents first
Go to Start, Control Panel, ‘System and
Maintenance’, then click ‘Backup and
Restore’. Click ‘Create a system restore
disc’, then click ‘Create disc’ and insert the
DVD when prompted. You may also need to
type your computer password.

Create a Windows XP or 8
recovery disc
To create a recovery disc for Windows 8
click Ctrl+C to open the Charms bar, then
click Search and type recovery drive into
the box. Click ‘Create a recovery drive’,
then Next. You’ll need
a blank USB stick with a capacity of around
8GB. When you insert the USB stick into
your computer, select it as the recovery
drive, click Next then Create. Windows will
first format and delete
the contents of the USB stick before
copying everything to it.
In order to restore Windows XP in a similar
manner you’ll need the disc that originally
came with your PC or another Windows
XP installation disc. If you don’t have one,
try asking a friend or relative if they do as
any Windows XP installation disc will work
Once both are downloaded, open the
installer (it has the file name sysresccd-
installer-1.4.0.exe). Click Select and locate
the 423MB file you downloaded – it’ll be
in the place your browser downloads files
to and will have the name systemrescuecd
-x86-3.8.1. Click and then open it. Select
your USB stick from the dropdown menu
and then click Install. Te USB stick now
has the operating system installed and
is ready to use. When the time comes
that you need SystemRescueCD, turn off
your computer and insert the USB stick
it is installed on. Turn on your computer
and a screen will appear asking you to
select which version of SystemRescueCD
you want to run. Press Enter to
choose option 1) SystemRescue CD :
defaultbootoptions’. After a few seconds,
it will ask you to pick a default keyboard
layout. There’s no need to scroll through
the whole list. Just type 40 then press
Enter to sele ct the UK/British layout.
Next you’ll be asked whether you want
Access your stricken computer using
Use Windows 7’s built-in tool to make a
rescue disc
to recover your machine. Once you’ve got
the disc, you should be able to boot from it
and repair Windows XP.
Windows XP is no longer being sold and
we don’t advise buying XP discs from eBay
or other online sources as they probably
won’t be genuine. If you can’t get hold of
an XP disc with which to create an image
file of your current setup, it’s best to back
up the computer’s contents and programs
to a USB hard drive. Tis way you’ll have
all your photos, music and documents and
can copy them to a new PC or a newer
version of Windows if the need arises.
June 2014 Computer active
Make your PC crashproof
to boot to the graphical interface.
Type startx and press Enter and the
operating system will boot into the
graphical version. You’ll now see the
SystemRescueCD Desktop. If your
computer is connected to the internet via
Ethernet, it will be online automatically.
To connect to a wireless network click
the small icon depicting two computer
monitors in the bottom-right corner,
select your wireless network, enter the
password and click Connect.
Get to your important files
Next, use SystemRescueCD to find
all your important files. First, right-
click anywhere on the Desktop, click
Accessories then SpaceFM. On the left
you’ll see a list of drives, one of which
will be your main hard drive. It may
take a bit of searching, but by navigating
around you should be able to find just
about anything on your computer. Make
sure you copy any precious pictures
and videos you don’t have backed up
elsewhere and any important documents
you need to access. Once you’ve located
them, copy these files to a USB stick or
external hard drive. Right-click a file or
folder (or click and drag to select more
than one), then click Copy and select the
USB stick or external hard drive as the
destination. Next, right-click in the left
pane, then click Paste and all the files
and folders you had copied will be saved
to the USB drive.
Browse the web
If you can’t get online using Windows,
then you can use the web browser
included here. Right-click the Desktop,
select Internet and then Midori. Te
browser works exactly like Firefox and
Chrome, but with all the fancy bits
taken out. It is still perfectly usable for
searching Google or checking emails.
If your computer has been hit by
a virus that prevents you from
getting online, you won’t be able to
download the tools you need to get
it working again. However, you can
use portable apps to diagnose what’s
wrong with it and help get things
working again. Portable apps run
from a USB stick rather than within
Windows, so you just need to plug in
the drive containing them and use
whichever ones you need. You can
also use this USB drive when helping
friends and family get their ailing
computers working again.
PortableApps (www.portableapps.
com/download) is used to install
and run full applications from USB
devices so install this first. When
the installation process gets to
Choose Install Location click Browse,
Computer, choose your USB stick
then click OK, Install.
To get more portable apps go to
www.portableapps.com/apps. Apps
are saved to your USB stick, as long
as it’s plugged in. To launch them
click the PortableApps Start button
or open the PortableApps folder and
select the app you want to run. You’ll
need the following five apps for your
USB rescue kit.
If your browser has been infected
you’ll need to use a clean, portable
browser to get online instead. There’s
isn’t a portable version of Internet
Explorer because Microsoft hasn’t
developed one or allowed other
developers to do so, but you can use
Chrome Portable to access the web
and log into your webmail to let
friends know your PC’s out of action.
ClamWin is a fantastic portable
antivirus scanner. Launch ClamWin
and click Yes when asked whether
you want to download the Virus
Definitions Database. The update
may take 10 minutes or more
depending on the speed of your
internet connection. To use
ClamWin, open it and click Scan to
check your computer.

Spybot detects and removes
malicious software and spyware.
Click System Scan and then ‘Start
a scan’ to check your computer.
The Immunization function blocks
a blacklist of websites known to
be malicious.
Rootkits work by gaining
unauthorised access to your
computer while remaining
undetected. This free Kaspersky tool
hunts and destroys them. It scans for
both known and unknown rootkits
by looking in the places they are
most commonly found. Click ‘Start
scan’ and it’ll check your system and
help make it safe to use again.
If your browser has been hijacked,
this invaluable tool will help you
wrestle back control. Click ‘Do a
system scan and save a logfile’. This
logfile will look like gibberish so for
help understanding the results go
to www.hijackthis.de, paste the text
from your logfile into the box and
click Analyze. You’ll then be shown
an explanation of your results, with a
rating of how safe each one is. Unsafe
results are flagged up with a large red
X and a message saying ‘This entry
should be fixed by HijackThis’. Head
back to HijackThis, find and tick
any results that have been flagged up,
then click ‘Fix checked’.
Access your stricken computer using System
Rescue CD
54 Computer active June 2014
You can revisit early versions of Windows by running them in an online emulator.
we travel back in time and reveal what you can do
ostalgia, of course, ain’t what it
used to be, but it’s still amazing
how much computer history
you can find online. We’ve
found some fantastic emulators –
websites that let you ‘run’ old versions of
Windows - so you can see just how much
Microsoft’s operating system has
improved over time. Next time you feel
frustrated by the weirdness of the
Windows 8 interface or the sluggishness
of Vista, then just fire up one of these,
and thank your lucky stars!
Run Windows 1.01
Launched 20 November 1985
Windows 1.0 was considered attractive at
the time but, as the screenshot below
shows, there are no program icons and
only the crudest representation of hard
drives. Te emulation here is running on
a virtual PC XT (the first IBM machine to
include a hard drive) with 256KB of
memory and a CGA display - hence the
blocky 320x200 graphics.
With practice you’ll find that you can
use the mouse pointer to select one of
the drives or start a program like Clock
or Notepad by double-clicking it. You can
also explore the menus, but remember to
point, click and hold the mouse button
down in order to open them.
For the authentic 1985 Windows
experience, click the Reset button at
the bottom to restart the emulator. After
the memory check, it’ll ask for the date
and time - press Return on your
keyboard both times to display the A>
prompt. Type c: then press Return to bring
up the C> prompt and type cd\windows.
Press Return again to display another C>
prompt and type dir\. Next, press Return,
type win in the C> prompt and press
Return one last time to load Windows. You
won’t be surprised to learn that it loads
quicker than Windows 8.
Run Windows 3.0
Launched 22 May 1990
Tis is considered by many PC experts
as the first ‘proper’ version of Windows,
with a revamped interface featuring a
Program Manager and File Manager, better
memory management (up to 16MB)
support for up to 256 colours and the
ability to run DOS programs in a window.
It also came pre-installed on some PCs.
Don’t waste time trying to persuade
the mouse pointer to work in this
emulator, because it won’t. Instead, use
the keyboard to navigate. With the
Main window open, press the right cursor
key to move to the Control Panel icon
and press Return to start it. Use the cursor
to select a setting and when a dialogue box
opens, experiment with the cursor and
Tab keys to navigate and change settings.
To close the Control Panel window, press
Alt+S, then choose Exit from the menu.
Back at the Main window, hold down
Alt+W to open the Window menu and
choose Games, where you can play
Solitaire and Reversi. We prefer the latter -
use the cursor keys to position the pointer
and place your counter in a square by
pressing the Space bar. It’s retro-gaming at
its finest. Alternatively, switch to the
Accessories window, click the Write icon
and have a play with Windows’ first
WYSIWYG word processor.
Find out the time by running Windows 1.01’s clock in your browser
Play Reversi in Windows 3 in the Games
Click the Write icon to use the first WYSIWYG
word processor in Windows
Run old versions of windows online
55 June 2014 Computer active
Run Windows 3.1
Launched 6 April 1992
Windows 3.1 included many under-the-
hood improvements such as the ability to
play video files, and support for the new
wave of multimedia PCs. It let you drag
and drop icons for the first time, so you
could, for example, drag a document onto
the printer icon to get it printed.
It was also the first version to be
distributed on CD-ROM.
Tis emulator works really well
with the mouse pointer (though
disappointingly you can’t drag and drop),
and you can open program groups by
double-clicking the minimised icons
at the bottom, then launch them by
To watch a video, open the
Accessories group, launch Media Player,
open the File menu, choose Open and
select one from the list. Alternatively,
you can change the Desktop background.
Click the Main icon, open Control
Panel, then open Desktop. At the
dialogue box, select Browse and choose
one of the images. Select the Tile
button, click OK, then make sure Tile
is selected and click OK again to
change the Desktop background.
We rather like the zigzag option
(see screenshot above).
Run Windows 95
Launched 24 August 1995
While these emulators provide an
entertaining nostalgia trip, there are
some things about old versions of
Windows that nobody misses, as you’ll see
here. Just let Windows 95 load and then
have a go at anything you like - opening
the Start menu, launching a program from
a shortcut and so on.
No matter what you do, you’ll be greeted
by the Blue Screen of Death. Tankfully,
it’s only a jokey tribute (of sorts) to the
famous error message that was introduced
in Windows 95.
Run Windows 98 and beyond
Launched 25 June 1998
If you want to bring things a bit more up to
date, try Total Emulator which has
Flash-based demonstrations of everything
from Windows 98e (the multimedia
edition) right through to Windows
Vista; there’s even a selection of old
programs for you to try, including
the email client Eudora and Internet
Explorer 5. Not everything works
(the menu items that do work are
highlighted in pink), but it’s a great
way to wander round old versions
of Windows - and appreciate how
far we’ve come since.
Run Mac System 7 OS
Launched 16 January 1986
Te history of computing isn’t all
Windows, of course. Tere’s the
little matter of Apple and its Macs.
In this emulator, you can recreate System
7 OS, which arrived with the Macintosh
Plus. Te menus work (just left-click and
hold), and you can explore both hard
drives, play the game of Risk or run
classic Macintosh programs such as
PageMaker and MacDraw.
Play games on DOSBox
While it’s unlikely that anyone would
want to revisit the days of DOS for any
practical purpose, you may want to play
a few classic DOS-based games – such
as Civilization, Microsoft Flight
Simulator and Prince of Persia. You
can play them, and dozens more, for free
at DOSBox, which lets you recreate a
DOS environment on a modern PC
complete with sound, graphics, joystick
support and basic networking.
This zigzag effect is one of the Desktop patterns you can choose in Windows 3.1
Use Apple’s MacDraw program in the Macplus
Play the classic game Microsoft Flight
Simulator in DOSBox
Don’t waste time trying to troubleshoot computer
problems yourself – use Microsoft’s automatic ‘Fix it’
tools instead. We reveal the best 13 fxes
Fix a slow PC
Ask any cross-section of computer users
what the biggest problem is with their
PCs and a great many will complain
about the same thing: speed. A slow PC can
be a massive pain, dragging its heels on
startup, struggling to launch programs
and sluggishly carrying out even the
simplest of tasks. Often problems of this
kind are all but impossible to diagnose
too. If your PC feels like it’s grinding
to a halt, try this fix.
Fix printer problems
Having trouble trying to install a new
printer or connect to your existing one? Or
perhaps your printer won’t produce
anything except a hideous blotchy mess,
or a series of blank sheets of paper. Printer
problems aren’t just frustrating; they can
also end up costing you money if you’re
wasting ink as a result. Running this fix
will check for a number possible causes,
including driver problems, network
printing issues and problems with the
Print Spooler.
Fix hardware devices that
aren’t working or detected
When Windows develops problems with an
ouldn’t it be great if
you could invite a
Microsoft technician to come
round and fix your
PC whenever it went wrong? Well, as
it happens, you can do something very
similar by using the Fix it Solution
Center (http://support.microsoft.com/fixit)
– a curiously under-publicised area of
Microsoft’s support website – where
you can search for, download and run
small programs designed to
automatically solve specific problems. You
can browse for available solutions to a
particular problem by selecting the general
area – Windows, Offi ce, Internet Explorer
and so on – then choosing the phrase
underneath that most closely describes
what you were trying to do when the
problem occurred. Just click the ‘Run now’
or ‘Fix it’ button, choose to run (rather
than save) the tool, then click Accept and
follow the remaining on-screen prompts.
Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t
produce automatic fixes for every
single problem and Windows 8 isn’t
currently supported at all. But
‘Fix it’ is still a great way to
cure many
common computer
affl ictions, as
well as several
more obscure
ones. Here, we
show you the most
useful fixes
To find a ‘Fix it’, click a ‘problem area’ icon then
select what you’re trying to do
Click Accept to make the ‘Fix it’ solution
run automatically
56 Computer active June 2014
internal or external hardware component
– anything from a graphics card to a webcam
– you should try checking Device Manager
(right-click My Computer and select Manage).
But it’s unlikely to offer you anything more
helpful than an exclamation mark in a little
yellow circle. Run this fix instead and it will
check for driver problems and try to resolve
them for you automatically.
Fix Windows update
Installing the latest updates for your
computer is essential if you want to use your
PC safely. Most of us set Windows to update
itself automatically, but if, for some reason,
Windows Update stops working, then your
computer could become vulnerable to
Fix Internet Explorer
Tis tool can diagnose and repair
numerous problems that are making
Internet Explorer run slowly or crash. It
also enables a range of important safety
options, including the phishing filter.
Fix Windows Live
Photo Gallery
If Microsoft’s free photo-management
tool is slow, if pictures aren’t displaying
properly or if it just won’t start, use this fix
to repair a range of underlying causes.
Fix Windows Media Player
Another multi-fix tool, this time for
Windows Media Player. Use it if Media
Player won’t start or play certain files, or
if you’re having problems browsing your
music or video libraries.
malware and hackers. If you haven’t
received any updates for a while or if
Windows Update reports errors when you
try to run it, then give this fix a go.
Fix a PC that wakes
from sleep mode
You may have noticed that your PC
has a curious habit of starting up on
its own at the same time every day, for no
apparent reason other than to annoy you.
Tis only happens to Windows 7 PCs that
are put in sleep mode (instead of being shut
down fully) and can be caused by a number
of different factors. So if you’re suffering
from a sleepless PC, try both these ‘Fix it’
Fix broken Desktop shortcuts
Occasionally, Windows Desktop shortcuts
will suddenly throw a wobbly, either
producing an error when clicked or just not
working at all. Tis fix will try to repair
broken shortcuts, delete unused ones and,
in the process, also check that your system
time and synchronisation settings are
Fix a spell checker that’s not
Word 2010’s spell checker can sometimes
develop a quirk where it refuses to identify
misspelled words, making the tool
somewhat useless. Clicking Spelling &
Grammar in the Review tab of the ribbon
may also yield a message that claims your
proofing tools need to be reinstalled. Tere
can be a number of causes for this, so read
through the other methods listed under
Resolution on this page and apply the
advice here, then run the ‘Fix it’ tool, which
you’ll find under Method 5.
Fix winmail.dat
problems in Outlook
Have you ever tried to send a file as an
email attachment in Outlook only to have
the recipient complain that they received a
file called ‘winmail.dat’ instead? Tis is a
common problem for Outlook users – it
relates to messages sent using the rich text
format and can be diffi cult to fix. Luckily,
this tool fixes the problem.
Fix Excel startup problems
Tere are so many reasons why Excel 2007
may suddenly refuse to start, such as a
corrupted shortcut, a conflict with another
program, a troublesome add-in or a
Registry problem. Click the link above for
solutions to all these causes and more,
along with four separate ‘Fix it’ tools that
you can use to apply many of the suggested
The ‘IE Performance and Safety’ fix
will solve Internet Explorer problems
You can get Windows Update working again
by applying a Microsoft ‘Fix it’
Use Method 5 in this ‘Fix it’ to repair a
broken spell checker in Word 2010
repairs automatically. If you use other
versions of Excel, head to www.snipca.
com/11259 for similar fixes.
Fix Word documents
that won’t open
You can sometimes find yourself faced with
a baffl ing situation in Offi ce 2003 and 2007
where Word documents refuse to open
when you double-click them in a Windows
Explorer window. One solution is to always
open your documents through the File
menu within Word itself, but this is far from
convenient. Instead, run this fix, which
disables add-ins that can cause the problem.
Scroll down and click the ‘Fix it’ button
under ‘Change it for me’.
Best Windows ‘Fix-it’ solutions
57 June 2014 Computer active
58 Computer active June 2014
The Internet of Things
It might sound confusingly vague, but the Internet of Tings could soon
see you living in a super-futuristic home. Here’s how it works
What’s All The Fuss About…
IoT technology lets your household objects ‘talk’ to each other
Te Internet of what?
Internet of Tings (IoT) which, we agree,
is an annoyingly abstract phrase, but the
technology behind it is breathtaking.
Te idea is to design objects so they
can connect to the web, allowing them
to automatically send and receive data
without any input from humans. Tese
objects then respond to this data by
altering their behaviour – switching
on or off, for example.
How would I benefit from that?
In lots of ways - especially around the
home or at work. Te ultimate aim is
to connect all your devices so they can
‘talk’ to each other. US company Cisco,
which makes networking equipment, uses
the example of a work employee who,
overnight, receives an email saying
that a morning meeting has been pushed
back. Te employee’s alarm clock responds
to this information by automatically
pushing back the time
it’s set to go off, giving the worker more
time in bed. When the clock does ring,
it will tell the coffee maker in the kitchen
to start work on the morning cappuccino,
and order the car to defrost its windows.
It will revolutionise how we use many
household objects, bringing us closer to
the “home of the future” as depicted in
those alluring 1950s documentaries.
Sounds lovely, but isn’t that
all a bit far-fetched?
It’s certainly a futuristic vision,
and assumes everything will work
perfectly. But it could become reality
sooner than you think. You may
even be using the internet of things
without realising it. For example,
you may already be controlling your
energy or lighting through an app.
British Gas’s new smart meter (see
photo right) is a great example of how
the IoT will soon impact on our home life.
It automatically sends your energy usage
to your supplier, so you won’t need to read
your meter. Learn more about it at www.
Other uses of the IoT could be a matter of
life and death. Pacemakers can now
be monitored by hospital computers,
alerting staff to potential problems.
Now it rings a bell. Hasn’t IoT
been around for a while?
Yes, since 1999, when the term was coined
by British technology engineer Kevin
Ashton. But it’s become a bit of a running
joke – promising much but delivering
little. Nobody was ever going to get too
excited about expensive fridges that
connected to the internet.
However, IoT recently hit the news
again when Intel said it was setting up
a business division aimed at generating
revenue from this new technology. Tis
should mean smarter, cheaper devices.
Is it all safe?
Very good question. After all, the more
devices that are connected, the more
information hackers could steal. And
as governments start to use IoT to
control infrastructure such as energy
use, water levels and traffi c, they’ll
become increasingly vulnerable to
cyber-terrorism. Fortunately,
security experts are beginning to
take the threat seriously, having
discussed the dangers at the
Securing the Internet of Tings
conference in San Francisco in
October (www.snipca.com/10632).
With suffi cient security measures
you can sleep soundly in the
knowledge your alarm clock and
coffee machine won’t be hacked.
Smart meters send your energy usage to your supplier
Strap on page 3 xxxxxxxxxx
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26 pages of easy-to-follow workshops
59 Make your PC start up in seconds
62 Control a photo slideshow with
your phone
64 Sync files between your tablet and
66 Upgrade to Windows 8.1 from the
Preview version
67 Write your life story in Word
79 Readers’ Tips
80 Tablet & Phone Tips
82 Make Windows Better
83 Make Office Better
84 Secret Tips For... PeaZip
70 Switch from iOS to Android using a PC
72 Share huge files without an account
for free
74 Hack Windows XP to make it run faster
75 Create web spreadsheets for free
77 Back up everything on your Android
You might not realise it, but at startup Windows
often expends a lot of wasted energy launching
a large number of components you don’t
actually need. One way to free up resources and make
boot times quicker, therefore, is to switch off the areas of
Windows you don’t use. To do this in Windows 7 or 8,
press the Windows key, type control then press Enter.
Click ‘Uninstall a program’ then click ‘Turn Windows
features on or off’ 1 . A new window will open where you
can untick those components you don’t need.
Which components you de-activate depends
on which version of Windows you’re running
and which Windows tools you actually use.
In Windows 7 for example, you may never use Windows
Media Center. If not, click the plus (+) sign next to Media
Features and untick the Windows Media Center option to
disable it. Also, it’s very unlikely you’re using Windows 7
on a touchscreen computer, so you can untick Tablet PC
Components 1 to disable. restart your PC to complete
any updates.
Make your PC start up
in seconds
ew things are more frustrating
than a PC that takes ages to
start. You may have already tried to
speed things up by uninstalling
programs or customising your
start-up settings. But if booting up is
still slow, then we’re going to reveal
some new ways to get your PC up
and running faster. We’ll show you
how to disable unnecessary
Windows components, the best way
to stop your PC manufacturer’s
pre-installed software slowing
things down and how you can
avoid the wait entirely by setting
your PC to start automatically.
What you need: Windows XP, 7 or 8 Time required: 30mins
You may consider uninstalling Games in Windows 7. To
do this, click the plus sign next to Games and untick any
games you don’t play or untick the main Games entry to
remove all games. If you use Chrome or Firefox as your browser,
you can untick Internet Explorer here. If you don’t use desktop
Gadgets or the Sidebar (Microsoft advises against it for safety
reasons), then untick the Windows Gadget Platform. Few people
need support for XPS documents (Microsoft’s little-used
equivalent to PDF), so you can untick XPS Services 1 and XPS
Viewer 2 , then click Yes 3.
When you’ve unticked the Windows components you
don’t need, click OK. You’ll see a message as Windows
makes the changes to its features. Click Restart Now 1
to reboot your PC when prompted. All the Windows 7 tools we’ve
suggested are safe to remove as long as you don’t use them, but
we don’t recommend you disable any other components. To
restore any features, open Control Panel, click ‘Uninstall a
program’, then ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ and tick those
components you want to bring back.
Disabling unnecessary Windows components in
Windows 8 and XP is similar to Windows 7, albeit
with a few notable differences. In Windows 8, you
can remove components as described in Step 4, but there
are fewer features that are indispensable or safe to disable.
You can remove Internet Explorer if you don’t use it, or XPS
Services and Viewer if you don’t work with XPS documents.
But that’s about it. In XP, click Start, Control Panel, ‘Add or
Remove Programs’ and Add/Remove Windows
Components 1 . If you don’t use them, you should untick
MSN Explorer and Windows Messenger 2 . Click Next then
restart your PC.
When you buy a new PC, the least you might expect is
quick boot times. But start-up speeds are often
severely slowed down by tools and programs
preinstalled on your PC. For example, on a Toshiba laptop we
recently tested we found no fewer than seven applications that
were surplus to our needs and slowed up the laptop’s startup. To
remedy this on Windows 8 (or 8.1), right-click the taskbar then
select Task Manager. Click ‘More details’, then click the Start-up
tab 1 and look for any offending programs. In our case, we could
safely remove most of the tools labelled ‘Toshiba’ from startup.
Right-click any programs or tools you don’t need, click Disable 2 ,
then restart your PC.
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If your computer is still slow to start up after making
these adjustments, you can set your PC to turn itself on
automatically every morning so that it’s ready to go as
soon as you sit in front of it. In Windows 7 and 8, make sure
you’re logged in with an administrator’s account, then press the
Windows key, type control and press Enter. Click ‘System and
Security’, then click Administrative Tools 1 and double-click the
Task Scheduler icon 2 .
Click Create Task in the right-hand pane of the window
that appears. In the General tab of the next window that
appears, type a name for the task in the Name box – for
example ‘Wake up’. Ten, in the ‘Security options’ box below, select
‘Run whether user is logged on or not’ 1 and tick the box next to
‘Run with highest privileges’ 2 . Next, click the Triggers tab, then
New. Make sure ‘On a schedule’ is selected from the ‘Begin the
task’ dropdown menu at the top. In the Settings section below this,
click Daily on the left, then type the time you’d like your PC to switch
on in the box on the right. Click OK.
Next, click the Conditions tab 1 and, in the Power
section, tick ‘Wake the computer to run this task’ 2
. You’ll now need to specify which task you want
your PC to perform, for example running a program. If your
Windows account is password-protected, your PC will only
be able to turn on and display your login screen. You need to
provide the Task Scheduler with a reason for waking up your
PC. To do this, click the Actions tab, then New. Leave ‘Start a
program’ selected in the Action menu. Type C:\Windows\
explorer.exe into the Program/script box. Click OK, then OK
again and enter your Windows password if prompted.
For this to work, you now have to send your PC to sleep, rather
than switch it off. You’ll find the Sleep option in the shut down
menu in Windows 7 and 8. Alternatively, set your PC to go to
sleep automatically. Press the Windows key, type control then press
Enter. Click ‘Hardware and Sound’ then ‘Power Options’. Click ‘Change
plan settings’ next to the currently active plan, then select the amount of
time from the ‘Put the computer to sleep’ menu 1 and click ‘Save
changes’. In some cases, it may also be necessary to click ‘Change
advanced power settings’ 2 , then double-click Sleep, double-click ‘Allow
wake timers’ and change the settings here to Enable. We’ve got a
Workshop on tweaking XP’s power settings in our next issue.
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If you don’t already have it, download the latest
version of LibreOffi ce from www.libreoffi ce.org
and install it on your PC. Open LibreOffi ce and
click the Presentation icon. Te program Impress will
launch and display a new blank presentation document.
Click Insert 1 on the main toolbar and select Picture 2 ,
then click Photo Album 3. In the window that opens, click
Add and browse to the folder where the pictures you
want to use are kept. Click a photo and click Open. If you
want to add more than one photo from a folder, hold
down the CTRL key and click on all the
photos you want, then click Open.
Carry on adding photos from different locations,
if necessary, until you have all the images you
need. Your photo files will be listed in the order
you added them – this will also be the order they play in
your slideshow. To re-order the images, click to highlight
one in the list. You’ll see a preview of the image on the
right – then click the Up 1 or Down 2 buttons to move it
to the right place in the list. You can also get rid of any
unwanted photos you may have added by accident –
simply highlight them in the list and click Remove 3.
Control a photo slideshow
with your phone
From the Slide Layout menu on the right you can choose one,
two or four images per slide. We’re going to choose one, so
that each photo appears on its own slide. Leave Keep Aspect
Ratio ticked, otherwise your images may look distorted, then click Insert
Slides. Your images will now be added as slides and displayed in order
running down the left-hand side of the main Impress window. Slide 1 is
your title slide, so click where it says ‘Click to add title’ 1 and type a
name for your slideshow. If you want, you can add further information –
the date and location of where your photos were taken, for example –
in the box underneath.
What you need: XP, Vista, 7 or 8 Time required: 20 mins
ou don’t need special software to
control a photo slideshow on
your Desktop from your phone. Te
new version of free offi ce suite
LibreOffi ce (4.1.3) has a handy tool
that lets you build slideshows
quickly and easily from within its
presentation program, Impress. Te
program has a handy, free
LibreOffi ce Impress Remote app
(www.snipca.com/10709), which
lets you control your slideshow
using touchscreen gestures on your
Android smartphone or tablet. In
this Workshop we’ll explain how to
create and control a slideshow.
3 2
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One of our photos is on its side when it should be in
portrait mode – in other words we need to rotate it.
Click the slide on the left, then click the main image
and, from the Format menu 1 , choose ‘Position and Size’.
Click the Rotation tab 2 and type either 90 or 270 into the
Angle box 3, depending on which direction you need to
rotate the picture, then click OK. Te photo may now be too
big for the slide. Holding down the Shift key, click one of the
green squares in the corner and drag inwards to shrink the
image. Click and drag the image to position it correctly.
Save your slideshow once you’ve finished making
changes. Next, click the Tools menu and select Options. In
the window that opens, click LibreOffi ce Impress 1 , then
General 2 and make sure there’s a tick next to ‘Enable remote
control’ in the Presentation section. Click OK and then close all
LibreOffi ce windows, re-launch Impress and open your slideshow
again. Remote communication with the Android app works
via either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. If you choose Bluetooth, you’ll need to
make sure Bluetooth is switched on for both your PC and your
Android device. Start the LibreOffi ce Impress Remote app on your
Android device and it should automatically discover your PC.
Getting Wi-Fi to work is a little trickier. First ensure that both
devices are connected to the same network. In Impress on
your PC, click Tools, Options, LibreOffi ce 1 , Advanced 2 ,
then tick ‘Enable experimental features’. Click OK, exit LibreOffi ce and
re-open your slideshow. You’ll need your computer’s name and IP
address. Right-click (My) Computer and select Properties (in
Windows 8, right-click the bottom left-hand corner of the screen and
select System), then look under ‘Computer name’ here. Next,
press the Windows key (then click Run in Windows XP), type cmd and
press Enter. Ten type ipconfig at the command prompt and press
Enter. Make a note of the numbers listed next to IP(v4) Address.
Now, in the Remote app on your
Android device, tap Add Wi-Fi
Computer Manually 1 . Enter the
name and IP address you noted previously.
Leave ‘Remember this computer next time’
ticked, then tap Add. You’ll see a PIN code. Go
back to your PC and, in Impress, click the
Slide Show menu and select Impress
Remote. In the window that opens, click the
name of your Android device, enter the PIN
and click Connect 2 . On your Android device,
tap Start Presentation. Te first slide will fill
your PC screen and you can tap or swipe the
thumbnails on your mobile to control the
64 Computer active June 2014
nyone who uses a tablet and a
PC will inevitably find
themselves needing to access the
same files – photos, music,
documents and more – from both
devices. It’s possible to do so through
a cloud storage service, such as
Let’s start with Android users (if you own an iPad, skip
ahead Step 7). Our aim here is to create a folder on our PC’s
hard drive that will automatically synchronise its contents
with our tablet over our Wi-Fi network, so we don’t have to fiddle
around with USB cables or even remember to carry out a sync
manually. Cheetah Sync is a free app that will do that. It comes in two
parts – a mobile app that you can get from the Google Play store
(www.snipca.com/10763) and a free tool for your PC that you can
download from www.snipca.com/10762. Install them both.
Launch Cheetah Sync on your PC. If your firewall
displays a message telling you it has blocked the
program, click the option to allow it access. Cheetah
Sync is accessible via its icon in the Notification Area 1 . Right-
click this and select Options. Check the name of your PC, listed
under Hostname, and remember it for later. You
can share an existing folder if you wish, but we recommend
creating a special folder that you use just for synchronising
things with your tablet. Press Windows key+E and browse to the
(My) Documents folder, right-click an empty space and select
New, then Folder 2 and give your folder a name like ‘My sync
Sync fles between your
tablet and PC
Now switch
to your
tablet and
open the Cheetah Sync
app – tap Tutorial if
you wish to read more
about what the app
does. Once this has
finished, tap the Home
icon in the top left-
hand corner, then tap
the Sync Jobs icon.
Cheetah Sync will
attempt to
automatically discover
your PC over your
home network. You
should see the
Hostname from Step 2
listed under ‘Pick a
computer to sync with’.
Tap this, then tap
Create Job. A directory
will open – it should be
the Documents folder
on your PC and you should be able to see ‘My sync folder’ in
the list 1 . Tap it to open the folder, then tap the tick icon on
the top right of the toolbar 2 .
What you need: XP, Vista, 7 or 8; iOS or Android Time required: 30mins
Dropbox or Google Drive. But
sometimes it’s preferable to have the
files in question physically stored on
your tablet and your PC. Luckily,
there are easy ways to keep files and
folders synced, whether you use an
Android tablet or an iPad.
65 June 2014 Computer active
Next you’ll be
faced with a
showing the folders on
your Android device. If
you want to sync your
photos, music or
movies, then you could
select one of these
folders on your tablet.
In this case we’re going
to create a dedicated
folder on your
tablet where all our
synced files are stored.
Tap the icon of a folder
with a plus (+) sign in
the top toolbar 1 ,
then type a name and
tap OK. Tap the new
folder in the list, then tap the tick button in the top right.
You’ll be faced with a screen of settings. Leave these as
they are for the time being and tap Save.
Tap the Home icon
(top left), then
Settings. Tap
Synchronization Interval 1
and select how often you
want the sync to run –
syncing frequently will
consume more battery
power. To test everything’s
working, go back to your PC
and drop a file into your ‘My
sync folder’. On your tablet,
tap the Sync icon (two
arrows in a circle), then tap
Sync Now. Open a file
manager app (try the free
ES File Explorer from www.
snipca.com/10767) and go
to the folder you created in
Step 4 – the file from your
PC should be there. Your PC
and tablet need to be
switched on for future automatic syncing to occur.
By default, Cheetah Sync only synchronises one
way – from your PC to your tablet. If you prefer,
it’s possible to reverse this so that it only syncs
content from your tablet to your PC or set up a bi-directional
sync that keeps both folders the same, whether you change
the contents on the PC or the tablet. Tap the Home icon,
then Sync Jobs. Select your computer, then tap the name of
the job you set up and select Edit Job. Next, tap Sync
Direction 1 and choose ‘Android to Computer’ 2 or ‘Two-
Way’ 3 as required, then tap Save.
Tere’s currently no free equivalent to Cheetah Sync for
iOS, but you can sync your iPad automatically with iTunes
over Wi-Fi. Make sure you’re running the latest version of
iTunes (www.apple.com/uk/itunes), then connect your iPad and PC
via USB. On the Summary page for your device, tick ‘Sync with this
iPad over Wi-Fi’ 1 , then click Apply 2 and disconnect your tablet.
For a wireless sync to occur, your iPad needs to be on the same
network as your PC and charging – iTunes needs to be running on
your PC too. If all these conditions are met, your devices will invisibly
sync music, photos, movies and other data just as if they were
connected via USB.
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If you installed Windows 8.1 Preview on a Windows 8 PC
from within Windows itself – that’s to say, either by installing
it through the Windows Store or by running the upgrade
set-up program from a DVD or USB drive while Windows was running
– then, thankfully, it’s possible to upgrade directly to the full version of
Windows 8.1 with relative ease. Te final release can be installed via
the Windows Store – follow our steps in Issue 411’s ‘Upgrade to
Windows 8.1’ to back up and update your PC first. Upgrading in this
way will keep your personal files in place, but you’ll need to reinstall
your apps once the process is complete.
If you installed Windows 8.1 Preview on a Windows 8 PC by
booting to a DVD or USB drive and running the set-up
program outside of Windows itself, then it’s possible to
install the final version of Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store
too. However, you won’t be able to activate the software unless you
pay for a new Windows 8.1 licence. Our advice would be to revert
your PC to Windows 8 using Refresh, then upgrade to Windows 8.1
for free. To use Refresh, press the Windows key, type refresh, then
click ‘Refresh your PC without affecting your files’. Next, click ‘Get
started’ 1 and follow the steps.
Upgrade to Windows 8.1
from the Preview version
If you installed Windows 8.1 Preview on a PC
originally running an earlier version of Windows,
you’ll need to pay for a full Windows 8.1 licence in
order to upgrade. Windows 7 users can buy and download the
full version of Windows 8.1 via the Upgrade Assistant (www.
snipca.com/10727) or install it via a shop-bought Windows 8.1
DVD. If your computer was running XP or Vista before you
installed the 8.1 preview, Microsoft recommends reinstalling
the original OS from the discs that came with your PC or from
a prior drive image backup before upgrading to Windows 8.1
from a retail DVD.
What you need: XP, Vista, 7 or 8 Time required: up to 1 hour
e explained earlier how to upgrade
to Windows 8.1 simply and safely.
However, if you installed the Windows
8.1 Preview release and want to upgrade
to the final version of the OS, then the
story isn’t quite as straightforward. Te
steps required vary depending on how
you originally installed the preview and
what OS you were running prior to the
preview. Te preview expires in January
2014 so, unless you want to reinstall your
old operating system, you’ll have to
upgrade to Windows 8.1 before then.
Here’s how.
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You can use a building block – a page in Word that
contains text boxes and graphics – to create an
attractive opening page for your story. To do this,
open a new Word document then click the Insert tab at the
top. In the Text group at the top right, click Quick Parts, then
‘Building Blocks Organizer…’. Here, you can preview
different building block templates by clicking them. Click
Insert to add the one you want to use. You can modify the
layout of your chosen building block by clicking within its
sections. Click and drag the sidebars 1 if you want to
extend or reduce a section’s size by moving the small
square. Right-click inside a section then click Cut 2 if you
want to delete it completely.
If you want to change the text font or style in a
building block, highlight the text you want to
change, then right-click. You can now change
your font style and size, as well as formatting and styling
options. Create chapter titles by using Headings. Tis
makes it easier to generate an automatic table of
contents at the end (see Step 10). To do this, click the
Home tab. In the Styles section, right-click Heading 1 1
then click ‘Modify…’. Change the formatting to make your
heading stand out. Click OK 2 when done. Click Heading
1 whenever you want to write a new chapter title.
ou can use Microsoft Word
for many things besides just
writing and formatting text. You
can add attractive layouts, create
family trees, add effects to your
your images, write footnotes and
automatically add a table of
contents. In this Workshop,
we’ll show you how to create a
visually interesting life story
that can be enjoyed for
generations to come using simple
and easy steps in Word.
Write your life story
in Word
What you need: Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010 Time required: 50 minutes
Write your life story in Word
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To insert photos from your Desktop into Word,
click the Insert tab, Picture, then double-click
your image. Once it’s inserted, click and hold a
corner of the image until you see two arrows pointing in
either direction. Shrink your image without warping it by
holding and dragging it inward into itself. If you click the
image and pull it out from the sides 1 , this will distort it.
To modify your image, click it, then
click Picture Tools 1 at the top.
You will now see a list of the ways
you can modify your image. In Word 2010,
you can sharpen your image and make it
brighter in Corrections. Color will give you
options to adjust its tone and saturation.
Artistic Effects give you a range of one-click
effects you can add. Word 2007 has far
fewer options to modify your image, but
you can still change its brightness and
contrast. You can rotate 2 your picture and
crop it 3 in both versions.
You can insert charts into your life story to
demonstrate how you spent portions of your
life. A pie chart works well for a breakdown of
your career, for example. Click the Insert tab, then Chart
in the Illustrations section. Tis will open an Excel
spreadsheet. Typing over the dummy text, enter your job
titles and the companies you’ve worked for in column A 1
and the years of service in column B 2 . Te blue line 3
determines how many sections your chart will be divided
into. Drag the blue line up or down to include or exclude
jobs. Close the Excel sheet once you’ve finished to see
your pie chart with your career details.
To add a family tree, click the Insert tab, then click SmartArt in
the Illustrations section, then Hierarchy in the list of options that
appear. Select a template with rectangular cells and click OK.
Click the SmartArt icon to bring up a text pane on the left 1 . Use this text
pane to enter text into the cells of your family tree. If you need to delete a
cell, click the section in the text pane relating to that cell and press the
Backspace key repeatedly until the cell disappears. To add a cell, type
new data in the next available section in the text pane and right-click it.
Click Promote 2 to move the box one level up and Demote 3 to move it
one level down. Te options Move Up and Move Down move the cells to
the left and right. To change the look of your family tree, right-click in any
blank area of your family tree and select ‘Change layout’.
Write your life story in Word
69 June 2014 Computer active
you may have
gained several
accolades from
the organisations
that you have served
or enjoyed your
achievements you’d
like to remember.
You can import a pdf
scan of a certificate
you’ve earned or
letter you’ve
received directly
into your Word
document. To do
this, click the Insert
tab, then in the Text section of the Ribbon, click the Object
dropdown menu 1 and click Object. Select the file format you want.
For pdf files use the first option – Adobe Acrobat Document 2 , then
click OK. Next, select the file you want to insert from your computer
and click open. It will import your file within a border. Tis file
cannot be edited.
You can add borders to your document
and change its appearance to make it look
better. Click the Page Layout tab in the
Ribbon and click Page Borders 1 in the Page
Background section. Click the Page Border tab in the
‘Borders and Shadings’ window that appears. Select
a page border for your document by selecting one of
the options and clicking OK. Click the Temes tab 2 in
the Temes section to modify the appearance of
your document. Temes will change your fonts and
the colours of any images you have created in Word.
Tey can be easily reset by clicking ‘Reset to Teme
from Template’.
Add the finishing touches to your document by giving it page numbers and adding a
contents table. To insert page numbers, click the Insert tab then Page Number 1 in
the Header & Footer section. Select ‘Bottom of Page’ 2 and choose how you’d like
your page numbers to be aligned. To generate an automatic Table of Contents, click the page
on which you want your table of contents to appear. Ideally, this should be the second page,
following your building-block intro page. Next, click the References tab 3, Table of Contents,
then Automatic Table 1. All your headings will appear as titles next to their page numbers.
Footnotes let you elaborate on something without having
to include it in your copy. To insert a Footnote, highlight a
word, click the References tab, then select Insert
Footnote 1 . A number will appear beside the word you highlighted
2 and the same number will appear at the foot of your page 3.
Click the right of the number that appears at the foot of your page
then type your footnote.
70 Computer active June 2014
On your Android device,
download and sign into
the apps you use most
often on your iOS device. You can
do this by clicking the Play store
icon and searching for apps that
you want to download. Download
Google Drive on your Android
device from www.snipca.
com/10980 as you’ll use it to
transfer all your images and videos
later in this tutorial. Use your Gmail
account to sign into Google Drive.
Update your iOS device (to iOS
7.0.4 or above) by tapping the
Settings app, then General and
Software Update 1 .
Now go to your PC. To transfer
your Contacts from iOS to
Android, open your web browser
and go to www.icloud.com. Sign in with
your Apple ID and password. Click
Contacts to see a list of all your contacts 1 .
Select them all by clicking Ctrl+A. Click the
Actions Menu (cog icon) 2 in the bottom
left of the iCloud screen and select ‘Export
vCard…’. A vCard contains all the contact
information you have selected as a .vcf file.
Tis file will now download to your PC’s
default Downloads folder.
Next, sign into your
Gmail account on your
PC. Click the main Gmail
menu on the top left and select
Contacts. Click More 1 and select
‘Import…’. Click Choose File 2 ,
select the vCard you downloaded
and click Import 3. All your
contacts will now appear in your
Gmail. To get these contacts on
your Android device, open the
Contacts app on your Android
device, tap Menu, Accounts, then
select your Gmail account. Tap OK.
All your iOS contacts will now
appear in the Contacts app of your
Android device.
oogle executive chairman, Eric
Schmidt, recently wrote a guide on
converting from iOS to Android using a
Mac and a PC (www.snipca.com/10981),
but you don’t need a Mac to do this.
We’ll show you how to make the switch
solely using a PC. In this Workshop,
you’ll learn to transfer all your most
important data, such as contacts,
images, videos and music files that
you’ve downloaded on your iOS device
to your Android device. All you need to
get started is a primary Gmail account.
Pay careful attention as we swap
between iOS, Android and PC in the
steps below.
Switch from iOS to
Android using a PC
What you need: XP, 7 or 8; iOS, Android Time required: 45 minutes
71 June 2014 Computer active
Now we’ll sync your photo
and video files between
iOS and Android. On your
iOS device, download and sign into
the Google Drive app (www.snipca.
com/10975) using your Gmail
account. Launch Google Drive and
tap the top-left parallel lines. Select
Uploads. Now tap the ‘+’ sign in the
top right. Select ‘Upload Photos or
Video’. Your iOS photos and videos
will now be displayed. Select the
items you want to upload by tapping
them individually and then tap the
blue tick icon in the top right 1 . Your
files will begin uploading. Next, on
your Android device, tap the Google
Drive app to see your uploaded iOS
If you want your photos and videos
to appear in your Android Gallery
app, first download Google Drive for
your desktop PC from www.drive.google.
com and sign in. Connect your Android device
to your PC via a USB cable. Select your
device and in the list of folders on your PC,
make a new one and name it. Copy and paste
the photo and video files from Google Drive
into this folder. Your Gallery app will now
contain the new folder with all your files.
To import music you’ve
bought from iTunes to
your Android device,
first sign into iTunes on your PC.
Now click the small dropdown
menu in the top left, then click
Preferences. Click the Store tab 1
and ensure ‘Show iTunes in the
Cloud purchases’ is ticked 2 . Click
OK 3. In iTunes, click the iCloud
icon beside tracks or albums to
download your music. Tis will
download any iTunes music
you’ve bought to your PC.
On your PC, go to play.google.com/music and click ‘Upload music’ next to the
top-right settings icon. Click Download Music Manager and install it. Click Next
when the option ‘Upload songs to Google Play’ appears. Make sure iTunes is
selected 1 . Click Next 2 again to download your music from iTunes. Once the upload is
complete you’ll see all your music files in Google Play Music. Download the app on your
Android device (www.snipca.com/10982) and enjoy all your iTunes music for free.
72 Computer active June 2014
Visit www.onetimebox.org and click ‘Create your Box’.
Tere are two ways to upload your files. You can either drag
and drop files directly from your PC or use the advanced
uploader. If you need to upload files from different sources, skip to
Step 2 to find out how to use the advanced uploader. But if you want
to upload files from just one source, it’s better to drag and drop them.
Start by dragging your files where it says ‘Drag files here’. Drag files
individually if the order of their upload is important to you. Selecting
many files and dropping them into OneTimeBox uploads them in
random order. Te Upload window 1 shows you the progress of the
upload and your uploaded files are displayed below 2 .

You can’t use the advanced uploader if you have already
dragged and dropped files into OneTimeBox. Use the
advanced uploader from the start if you need to upload
files from different sources. For example you can upload from
storage services like Google Drive, Gmail, Dropbox, Box and
SkyDrive and social networks including Facebook, Instagram, Flickr
and Evernote. You can also search for web images, take pictures
and record video from within the service.
ost file-sharing apps require
you to sign in and, often,
buy more storage for a fee.
OneTimeBox is different because
it lets you upload as many files as
you like (up to a maximum of 1GB)
and share a link to the files without
having an account. Also it lets you
upload from more sources than any
other service we’ve seen. In the
steps below, we will explain how to
best use its various upload options.
To upload photos from Facebook, OneTimeBox needs to
connect to your account. Tis will only let it access the
albums you upload. OneTimeBox doesn’t store your images
and can’t access other details of your account. However, it then asks
permission to post privately on Facebook, which it doesn’t need to do,
so click Skip to prevent this. Once your photos have loaded, you’ll see
all your Facebook albums. Click an album and select the images you
want to upload 1 . Click Upload 2 immediately because navigating to
another album will forget your earlier selections.
What you need: Any web browser Time required: 30 minutes
Share huge files without
an account for free
73 June 2014 Computer active

Your URL contains all the files you have uploaded
to OneTimeBox. If OneTimeBox doesn’t generate an
automatic URL at the bottom of the page, you can
copy and paste your URL 1 , which serves as your sharing link. Email
this link to as many people as you want. Recipients will see the link
exactly as you have sent it and will instantly see any uploads or file
deletions anyone makes . Downloaded files will automatically be
saved to the Downloads folder on your Desktop. We suggest
unlinking every program you’ve granted permission to and deleting
all the files after you and your recipients have finished using
To connect to Gmail, OneTimeBox
requests permission to view and manage
your email account. Tis is perfectly safe
as OneTimeBox doesn’t read your emails or store
its attachments on its servers. OneTimeBox also lets you
upload files directly from an FTP or WebDAV server, a
rare option not provided by many other services.
To unlink an account, click the X mark 3 beside it in the
Ink File Picker section.

To record and share a video, scroll down the Ink File Picker section and
click Record Video 1 . OneTimeBox will ask permission to access your
microphone and camera settings. If you have a multiple camera and
microphone setup, you get the option of changing these settings individually 2
by clicking the Settings (spanner) icon 3 at the bottom right of the screen. Tis
is a great option for recording short video messages, but don’t expect the same
quality as a digital camera or Skype. You may want to consider another
software or professional footage to upload more important footage.
OneTimeBox also lets you a run an image search from
within the service. Click Web Images and type a word or
term you want to search for 1 . It doesn’t have as big a
database as search engines but it’s a good alternative if you need
an image quickly. OneTimeBox can also access your Evernote
notes and notebooks 2 . Evernote notes open separately in a
webpage, unlike other files which download directly to your
74 Computer active June 2014
Annoyingly, before Windows XP starts, there’s a wait time of
30 seconds set by your computer. To change this, click the Start
menu, then click Run. Type msconfig in the box and click Enter.
Tis will take you to the System Configuration Utility. Click the BOOT.INI tab
1 . You will see a Timeout box on the bottom-right. Change this from 30 to
4 seconds 2 , which is the shortest time you can set. Click Apply.
When you start your PC, some of your downloaded programs also
launch, increasing its startup time. Click the Startup tab 3 in System
Configuration Utility to see all the programs that launch during startup.
Untick the items you don’t want to launch at startup. Do not untick
any system files. Click Apply and then OK.
As you browse the internet, you’ll gather a list of temporary
internet folders that will slow XP down. Deleting these files will
help speed up your system. To do this, click the Start menu, click Run
and type %temp%. Press Ctrl+A and delete all the temporary internet files in the
folder that appears. Defragmenting arranges the files on your system and
moves them around, making sure you get the best performance out of your PC.
Click the Start menu, then navigate to Accessories, System Tools then
Disk Defragmenter. Click Analyze 1 . After a brief analysis, it will tell you whether
you need to Defragment 2 the files. Ensure you defragment your PC at least
once a month.
fter using XP for a few years, it’s
likely your system will have slowed
down. Tis is an unavoidable result of
everyday usage and the accumulation of
software taking its toll on your PC. But
whether you use a desktop or a laptop,
these easy methods below will show you
how to make your PC start faster, manage
your files and tweak its power settings to
breathe new life into your ageing machine.

Hibernation closes and open programs faster than usual.
To enable Hibernation, click the Start menu and then Control Panel.
In the top-left Control Panel tab, click ‘Switch to Classic View’. Now
click Power Options 1 and click the Hibernate tab 2 in the Power Options
Properties window. Tick ‘Enable hibernation’ and click Apply. While in Power
Options Properties, click the Advanced tab 3. From here you can customise
what actions you want your computer to take every time you press the
power button, press the sleep button and close your laptop lid. Tis will
ensure you don’t shut down or hibernate your Windows PC without intending
to. Click Apply and then OK when done.
What you need: Windows XP Time required: 20 minutes
Hack Windows XP to make
it run faster
75 June 2014 Computer active
Open Google Drive (www.drive.google.
com). Sign in with your Gmail account
details, click the Settings icon (cog) in the
top-right corner, then Settings. Next, click the Editing
tab 1 , tick the box next to ‘Try the new Google Sheets’
2 and click Save 3. To access your Sheets from your
Desktop, click ‘Download Google Drive for PC’. Click
the googledrivesync.exe file that downloads, then
click Run. Click Close once the program has installed.
Next, sign into your Google account. You’ll now see
the Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides
icons on your Desktop.
To enable offl ine editing in Sheets, go to Google Drive in
your Chrome browser, click the More dropdown menu on
the left-hand side, then Offl ine 1 . Next, click ‘Get the app’
in the option that appears, then Free in the Application page that
appears and click Add. Click Launch App to return to the Google
Drive browser page. Click More, Offl ine then Enable Offl ine 2 .
You’ll need to set this up on all your PCs that use Google Sheets.
oogle recently introduced offl ine
support, filter views and simpler
calculations to Google Sheets.
Sheets is the third Google Drive app
(after Docs and Slides) to get offl ine
support. Unlike in Excel – part of
Microsoft’s Offi ce package and
therefore paid for – you can create
web spreadsheets for free using
Sheets. You can even have multiple
people in different locations
working simultaneously on the
same spreadsheet. Here we show
you how to get started with the new
Sheets and set up offl ine support.
Create web
spreadsheets for free
To create a new spreadsheet, return to your Google Drive
page, click the Create button in the top-left corner and click
Spreadsheet to open a new sheet. Type the name of your
sheet in the header 1 . Tere’s a
new feature that calculates
formulas within an individual
sheet. As an example, we’ve
created a spreadsheet detailing
fuel expenses over the past 14
months. In cell A21 we’ll
calculate the total expense for
January to November using the
new formula. Type =S in A21.
You’ll see a dropdown menu of
suggestions starting with the
letter ‘s’. Click SUM. Now drag
your mouse vertically from
cells B6 to B16 2 and click
Enter to calculate a sum total
for all those cells. For the entire
list of formulas supported by
Sheets go to www.snipca.
What you need: Gmail account, Chrome web browser Time required: 30 minutes
76 Computer active June 2014 76 Computer active June 2014
As in Excel, you can add multiple sheets to your
main sheet, create duplicate sheets or copy any
sheet you’ve created into an existing sheet in
Google Drive. Click + 1 to add a new sheet and the icon with
four parallel lines 2 to switch between sheets. Click the
dropdown menu next to Sheet 1 and you’ll see options to
delete, duplicate 3 or change a sheet’s label colour. To share
your sheets, click Share in the top-right corner of Google
Drive. Tis generates a link to your spreadsheet, which you
can share via email or social networks. Invite people to view
and edit your spreadsheet by entering their email addresses
in the box below and clicking ‘Share & save’.
To access your Sheets while offl ine, open
Chrome and go to drive.google.com. You’ll see
a list of your Sheets (the last versions you saved
when online). Click on a sheet to open it. You’ll see a small
icon 1 beside the name of the sheet which indicates that
you’re working in offl ine mode. To the right of the tabs,
you’ll see the notification ‘All changes saved offl ine’ 2 .
Note that the changes you make to a sheet when you’re
offl ine will not be synced to your other devices until you’re
back online.
Click this dropdown menu to sort your data alphabetically
or to untick the options you want to hide in your sheet. After
you’ve finished, click OK. Te dropdown icon in your column
header will change to a filter icon 1 , indicating that some values in the
column are hidden. To restore all your values, click this icon, then click
‘Select all’ 2 and then OK 3. Close your filter view at any time by
clicking the close symbol at the end of the black bar at the top-right
of your browser. Any filters you create for a spreadsheet are
automatically saved and can be used at any time by clicking Data, and
then going to ‘Filter views’.
1 2
Te ‘Filter views’ option lets you analyse data by temporarily
hiding selected data from your spreadsheet. Any filter views
you create are saved automatically for future use. To create a
filter view, open a sheet, highlight the column you want to add a filter to,
click the Data tab, go to ‘Filter views…’ 1 then click ‘Create new filter view’
2 . Your sheet will now have a black border around it. Type your Filter’s
name in the Name field 3. If you don’t give it a name, it will automatically
be named Filter 1, 2, 3, etc. Your column title will now have a dropdown
filter menu that you can click.
77 June 2014 Computer active 77 June 2014 Computer active
our Android device contains a
lot of your personal data such as
contacts, photos, music, videos,
messages, and your system settings.
To ensure you never lose this data,
you should back it up regularly. One
of the best new backup services is
the free Nero BackItUp. Tis lets
you back up your Android tablet,
phone and PC, then access all your
backed-up data from your browser.
It even lets you create photo
slideshows and share backed-up
images easily.
What you need: Android tablet or phone; PC Time required: 30 minutes
Back up everything on
your Android tablet
Install the Nero
BackItUp app (www.
snipca.com/11156) on
your device and open it. Tap
Target and you’ll see three
options representing maximum,
medium and low protection
levels. We’ll opt for Max, which
backs up our data to ‘Online
storage’. You get 5GB of free
online storage with Nero
BackItUp. Tap ‘Online storage’
1 , then ‘Sign up’ to create an
online storage account.
Enter your email
address, tick the terms
of service box by
tapping it 1 and then tap ‘Try for
Free’ 2 . Your account will be
created with an automatic
password. Tap ‘Setup password’
to create your own password.
You need to set a password
using letters and numbers. Type
and confirm your password, then
tap ‘Setup password’ again.
Next, on the ‘Select target’
screen, tap the three horizontal
lines next to ‘Online storage’ and
ensure ‘Backup only on Wi-Fi’ is
ticked. Tis will ensure a faster
backup of your files.
We’ll now select content to back up. Tap the
Nero logo in the top-left corner of your
screen twice, then tap Mobile at the bottom
to bring up a list of items you can back up. Tap the boxes
to untick the items you don’t want to back up 1 . You can
also tap the grid box 2 to select or deselect all options
together. To begin your backup, tap Next 3, then Back
Up Now. A rotating circle will display what percentage
of your device has been backed up. If you want to
cancel your backup, tap the rotating circle then tap Yes
in the message box that appears.
78 Computer active June 2014
Nero BackItUp also lets you back up data from
your PC. Click Files in the top left, then click the
Create New Folder icon 1 to create a new folder.
Name this folder, click it, then click ‘Upload files’ to upload files
from your PC. Click Nero Online Storage in the section above to
return to your main Files menu. You can copy, delete and
download a group of files or folders at the same time by going
to the files or folders and ticking the box in the bottom-left
corner 2 . Click the ‘More actions’ dropdown menu 3 to see a
list of options for your selected files or folders.
Nero BackItUp has many useful features,
including the ability to view your images in full-
screen mode, share them on social media and
play them as a slideshow. Click on any image to view it in
full-screen mode. All the other images in the same
album will load as a strip at the bottom. Click Play at the
top of the screen to start a slideshow or the Forward and
Backward arrows to individually switch between images.
Click the social icons 1 to generate an automatic link that
can be viewed by anyone and shared on social networks
with one click. Click the Download icon 2 to download the
image to your PC and the large X in the top right to return
to the previous screen.
To access your backed-up files via the web, go
to www.snipca.com/11157 on your PC and enter
your Nero BackItUp login details (which you
created in Step 2) in the box on the right. Click Download
Now to see all the files you backed up on your tablet in
your browser. Use the search bar 1 to search for a
particular file. Click Photos in the menu on the left to
display your backed-up photos. If you’ve created Photo
albums, they’ll appear in the ‘Photo albums’ section 2 .
Click Timeline 3 to display your albums by month. Click
any album to see all the images from that month.
How long your
backup takes will
depend on the
amount of data you’re backing
up and the strength of your
Wi-Fi connection. Once your
data is backed up, you’ll see a
notification with the date and
time of your last backup 1 .
Next, tap ‘Online storage’ 2 ,
then the three lines beside
Online storage. Under
‘Manage my online storage’,
you’ll see how much of your
free 5GB online storage
you’ve used.
2 3
1 2
79 June 2014 Computer active
Readers’ Tips
f you use free instant messaging
software Pidgin (www.pidgin.im) but
often don’t notice incoming messages till
it’s too late, there are lots of plug-ins that
might help you. However, they’re not
enabled by default, so you’ll need to
activate them. Right-click the Pidgin
icon in the Notification Area and click
Plugins. A list of plug-ins will appear.
You can enable those you want by
ticking the box alongside them.
If you find that you frequently miss
messages from contacts, enable the
Message Notification plug-in, then click
the Configure Plugin button to see the
various ways Pidgin can alert you to an
incoming message. Options include
adding information to the title bar of
windows or bringing up a message box.
Te latter option should only be used if
you don’t mind being interrupted from
what you’re doing. To avoid distraction,
tick ‘Present conversation window’ but
leave ‘Raise conversation window’
unticked. Tis will bring up the message
window if it’s been minimised, but
won’t take the cursor away from what
you were doing when the
alert came through.
Te History plug-in comes to
your rescue if you tend to
accidentally close, rather
than minimise, conversation
windows. Once you’ve
enabled it, Pidgin saves
conversations even after you
close the message window.
Tis is helpful if you close
the window by mistake in
the middle of a conversation
and lose track of what you were talking
about. Although Pidgin keeps records of
your conversations, they’re quicker to
retrieve using this plug-in.
David Chadwick
Never miss an instant message in Pidgin
Handy hints and tips from your fellow readers
Email us your tips: ca@nextgenpublishing.net
Customise the GIMP Toolbox
You can add frequently used tools to
the Toolbox in GIMP (www.gimp.org)
so you don’t have to go through menus every
time. Click Edit, Preferences, Toolbox then
scroll down the list on the right to the tool
you want. Click to the left of the tool’s icon
and an eye will appear to show it’s been
added. Click to the right of the thumbnail,
then use the green arrows below the list to
rearrange the icons in the toolbox. All the
changes are applied immediately, so you can
check they are set exactly as you want before
clicking OK to close the Preferences
window. Click an eye to remove that tool
from the Toolbox. If you decide you want a
tool restored after removal, you can add
them again from the menus.
Ian Bennett
Find media by type in iTunes
One of the perils of using different
devices with iTunes is that you
can’t be sure if your device’s files use a
compatible format. iTunes rips CDs in AAC
format, which is supported by all devices.
You can use the List view to show the format
of music and video files. Select either Music,
Films, Podcasts or Books in the left-hand
menu. Click List in the toolbar, then View
and then Show View Options. Expand the
File section and select Kind. Te new
column will appear immediately, showing
you what type of file each entry in the list is.
Keith Lingard
Convert files to play on mobile
If your MP3 player doesn’t run
iOS, use Windows Media Player to
copy music and videos to it. Better still,
Windows Media Player converts music and
video files if your device doesn’t support the
original format. It’s also useful for squeezing
more music onto older devices because you
can specify a smaller, lower-quality format,
which takes up less space.
Plug your device into your PC and
open Windows Media Player. It will
automatically detect your MP3 player. Click
the Organise menu, Options, then the
Devices tab. Click your device in the list,
then Properties. Click the Quality tab. Make
sure the top option is selected, then click
‘Select maximum quality level’ for music
and videos. Adjust the slider to get the right
format balance between size and quality,
then click OK. To add media to your device,
click the top-right Sync tab, then drag and
drop your media files onto the Sync Pane.
Tis process will take a while as your media
is converted.
Discover how to remove yourself
from websites
Finding instructions for deleting
accounts from websites can be hard
work so I’ve started using justdelete.me.
Tis website provides advice on how to
delete your account and details from a
comprehensive list of websites, all colour-
coded according to level of diffi culty. Tey
are arranged alphabetically and you can
search for
particular sites
using the text
box at the top of
the page.
80 Computer active June 2014
Phone and Tablet Tips Brilliant things to do on your device
Best New Apps
What you should install this fortnight
Control your Windows PC
remotely via a phone or tablet
Microsoft has just released a
free Remote Desktop app for
iOS and Android. Te app lets you wirelessly
connect to your Windows PC and control it
from your tablet or phone exactly as if you
were sitting in front of it, using multi-touch
gestures instead of your mouse.
Tis provides you with instant access to
your Desktop from your device, including
Microsoft Offi ce if you have it installed. Te
only catch is that the host computer needs
to be running a Professional (or better)
version of Windows for the app to work. To
configure remote access on your PC, click
Start, right-click Computer and select
Properties (or, in Windows 8/8.1, right-click
the bottom-left corner of the screen and
choose System), then click ‘Remote settings’
on the left. Select the option labelled ‘Allow
remote connections to this computer’ and
click OK. You’ll need to know your PC’s IP
address too – press the Windows key, then
type cmd. In the box, type ipconfig and
make a note of the figure next to IPv4
Address. Now install the Microsoft Remote
Desktop app from www.snipca.com/10455
on your iPhone or iPad, or www.snipca.
com/10456 on your Android device. In iOS,
tap New Remote Desktop. In Android, tap
the plus (+) sign. In both cases, type the PC’s
IP Address under ‘PC name’ and enter your
Windows user name and password. Tap
Done (Android) or Save (iOS) and then tap
your new connection to launch it.
Turn off unwanted automatic
Te latest version of Apple’s mobile
operating system – iOS 7 – includes
a new feature that automatically
updates your apps. For most people, this
will come as a blessing, as it means no more
manually downloading updates that seem
to be issued on an almost daily basis.
However, there are reasons why you may
wish to retain control over how and when
updates are installed. Sometimes, an app
update will remove a much-loved feature or
introduce new bugs, for example.
Automatic updates is enabled by default, so
if you’d rather play it safe and stick to
updating manually, tap the Settings app,
scroll down and tap ‘iTunes & App Store’,
then nudge the Updates slider to the left to
switch it off. Even if you’re happy to leave
auto-updates switched on, it’s worth
checking here to make sure that the Use
Mobile Data option is set to off. Tis will
prevent weighty updates eating into your
data allowance and potentially incurring
extra charges from your mobile provider.
BlackBerry Messenger
Android: www.snipca.com/10424
iOS: www.snipca.com/10425
Once a major selling point for Black-
Berry’s own
phones, its popular
Messenger app is
now available on
Android and iOS.
Te app is a great
way to chat with
large groups of
friends and you can
even attach photos,
videos and voice
clips to messages.
Android: www.snipca.com/10421
iOS: www.snipca.com/10422
Tis is one of the best phone and tablet email
apps we’ve seen. Its beautiful design makes it
easy to see what’s in your inbox and read your
emails. Tere’s also an inbox just for photos.
Te app is still in early testing, but is well
worth downloading.
Android: www.snipca.com/10420
If you’ve got lots of houseplants that require
regular watering, use this app to remind
yourself what needs a drink and when. You
can take photos of each plant using your
phone or tablet, set how often it needs
watering and then get timely reminders to
tend to thirsty plants.
81 June 2014 Computer active
Games With Kids
What to play together on your phone and tablet
Toca Mini
£1.99 www.snipca.com/10462 (iOS)
Te latest app from the makers of the addictive
Toca Hair Salon game is aimed at younger
users. It lets them make weird and wonderful
characters using different body parts, facial
features and costumes. Your kids will love it
when their creations come to life.
AGES 610
£1.99 www.snipca.com/10458 (Android)
£1.99 www.snipca.com/10459 (iOS)
Tis puzzle game sees you guiding a little robot
through a series of increasingly challenging
levels. Te twist is that the puzzles are based
on programming concepts, such as loops and
conditionals, so kids will learn something while
they play.

AGES 1116
Te Adventures of Mosaika
63p www.snipca.com/10495 (Android)
63p www.snipca.com/10496 (iOS)
Tis adventure starts with a loud crash in
the middle of the night, a cryptic code and a
doorway to another world. Players need to
collect important items, make notes and solve
mysteries to rescue a magical land in peril. Te
puzzles are clever but never too taxing and the
game’s art style is beautiful.
Use the hidden spirit
One of the lesser-known, new
features in iOS 7 is the addition of a
handy built-in spirit level, but it’s
not initially obvious how to find it. In fact,
it’s tucked away within the new-look
Compass app – open this and swipe from
right to left to switch from the compass
view to the level view and banish jaunty
angles from your DIY efforts for good.
Make your music sound better
Ever wanted your heavy metal to
sound heavier, or your jazz to sound
jazzier? Until recently, Android’s
music app has been stuck without much in
the way of options for tweaking audio
settings to your liking (unless you resorted
to using third-party apps), but in Android
4.2 onwards you can add a graphic
equaliser. Start playing a song, then go to
the Settings (three dots) menu and select
Equaliser. Flip the slider to On, then select
a preset from the left-hand dropdown
menu or move the sliders to set your own
custom levels.
Find out what song’s playing
on the radio
Lots of apps, including Shazam, can
tell you the name of a song that’s
playing in a bar or on the radio by
‘listening’ to it. But if you’re running
Android 4.2 or later then the chances are
that you already have such a feature
built-in. On your device, tap the Apps icon
and then tap Widgets. Swipe through your
widgets from right to left until you find one
called Sound Search. Do a long tap and
drag the widget to one of your home pages.
Test it by playing a tune and tapping
‘What’s this song?’. Within a few bars, the
tool will identify the track and provide you
with a link to buy it in the Google Play
store. If Sound Search isn’t already
installed, get it from www.snipca.
Create a restricted profile
If your Android tablet gets used
by younger members of the family,
one way to help protect your
children and your tablet from each other is
to set up a restricted user account, with
limited access to apps and settings. Tis
feature is currently only available to tablets
running Android 4.3. Tap the Settings app,
select Users and tap ‘Add user or profile’.
Choose ‘Restricted profile’, then tap the
setup icon next to the new profile. Give the
profile a name and tap OK, then use the
sliders to set which apps can and can’t be
used by anyone logged in under the profile.
Tab Back, then tap your new profile and tap
OK. Te tablet’s lock screen will now
display two icons – one for the main
owner’s account and one for the restricted
profile you just created. Assuming you
secure your tablet with a PIN, your
children will be limited to using the
restricted profile.
82 Computer active June 2014
Make Windows Better Clever tips for every version
Banish annoying pop-up shortcuts
Windows 8 introduced ‘hot
corners’ – areas of the screen
that displays menus whenever
you moved your mouse over them.
Tese are intended to help you
navigate between open apps and the
Charms menu. But many people find
these hot corners an annoying
distraction, popping up when not
needed. Tankfully, Windows 8.1
provides a quick and easy way to
disable them.
From either your Desktop or Start
screen, press Win+I to open the Settings
menu. Next, click ‘Change PC settings’
at the bottom and, in the app that
opens, click ‘Corners and edges’
in the left-hand menu. You will see
two sliders under a heading ‘Corner
navigation’. Slide both sliders to the left
to switch them off. Next, press Win+D
to return to the Desktop to make sure
the hot corners are switched off.
You’ll find moving the mouse to the
top-left corner no longer brings up a
pop-up of your open apps. Likewise,
moving your mouse to the top-right
corner doesn’t bring up the Charms
menu. You can still bring up the
Charms menu by moving your mouse
to the bottom-right corner or pressing
VISTA, 7, 8, 8.1
Solve sound-recording problems
Configuring Windows’
audio settings to record
sounds that come from
your PC (Skype calls, for example) can be
problematic and often depends on your
PC’s audio hardware. Tose who connect to
speakers using a digital optical cable or via
HDMI to a monitor with built-in speakers
may find they can’t record any sounds at
all. However, you can fix this by fooling
your PC into activating its analogue output.
First, plug something with a 3.5mm jack
into the analogue speaker or headphone
socket of your PC – a pair of earphones or a
speaker cable with no speakers attached.
Next, right-click on the speaker icon in the
Notification Area and select ‘Playback
devices’. Right-click the Speakers option
and select ‘Set as Default Device’. Don’t
worry if your sound doesn’t work at this
point. Next, click the Recording tab and set
Stereo Mix as your default device. If Stereo
Mix isn’t listed, right-click and select Show
Disabled Devices, then right-click Stereo
Mix and select Enable. Right-click Stereo
Mix again and select Properties. Click the
Listen tab then tick the ‘Listen to this
device’ box and select your digital output
from the dropdown menu. Click OK then
OK again. You should be able to hear audio
through your normal speakers and also
record any sounds your PC makes using
programs such as Audacity (audacity_
XP, VISTA. 7, 8, 8.1
Remove text from icons
All Desktop icons feature
text, whether it’s a shortcut,
a folder or a file. But if
you’d rather the icons speak for themselves
then it’s possible to remove the text from
below Desktop icons. An easy way to do
this would be to rename each icon using a
space instead of text, but Windows will only
let you do this with a little gentle
Right-click your icon and select Rename.
Hold down the Alt key and type 255 on the
number pad to the right of your keyboard,
then release the Alt key. Tis forces
Windows to rename the icon with a space,
effectively removing the text. If you want to
do this for a number of icons, you’ll need to
use a different number of spaces for each
one, so that
no two icons are named the same. Tis
means you have to perform the Alt+255
keystroke twice, three times and so on for
each subsequent icon.
Personalise your folders easily
Almost everybody personalises
their Windows Desktop by setting
a favourite photo or image as their
background, but did you know you can also
set wallpaper for your folders as well? You’ll
need to install the free utility Windowpaper
XP (www.snipca.com/10372). Launch the
program, click the Select Folder button,
then choose the folder you want to
customise. Tick Include Subfolders to apply
the wallpaper to all the folders within
the one you’ve selected.
Next, click Change Image, then the
picture you want to use as wallpaper.
Alternatively, click Change Color and select
a colour background for your folders. If
changing your folder’s background makes
the icon text harder to read you can click
the Change Text Color button and choose
an alternative.
Bear in mind that lower-resolution
images work best as folder wallpapers –
high-resolution photos may slow down
your folders, while only a small portion of
larger images will be displayed. Also,
if you decide to uninstall Windowpaper XP
you’ll first need to revert all your folders
back to normal (using the
Default button).
83 June 2014 Computer active
Make Office Better Expert tips for every program
Use portrait and landscape pages in the same document
Apply formatting to multiple
sheets simultaneously
Here’s a simple tip that can save
time when working on Excel
documents that contain multiple
sheets. Let’s say you’re creating a document
that contains three sheets with the same
formatting. You can apply formatting
changes to all three sheets at the same time
by grouping them together first. To do this,
hold down the Ctrl key and click the tabs
for each of the three sheets in the bottom-
left of the Excel window.
Now your sheets are grouped, any
changes you make to one sheet will also
affect the others – whether you’re altering
the formatting, inserting data, creating
formulas and so on. To un-group the
sheets, just click once on one of the tabs in
the bottom-left.
Bypass the Start screen
As with Windows 8, Microsoft
has implemented a Start screen
in Office 2013 – so whenever
you launch Word, Excel, PowerPoint or
other Office 2013 programs you’ll see an
unfamiliar interface with a search box at
the top and large icons representing the
types of documents you can create. This
can take a bit of getting used to. But if you’d
prefer a more traditional screen when you
run Office applications,
there’s an easy fix that will banish the Start
screen altogether and launch the regular
program interface immediately, complete
with a new blank document loaded and
ready to go.
In Word 2013, for example, click File,
then Options. Select General in the
left-hand column, then untick the
‘Show the Start screen when this
application starts’ option. Note that you’ll
have to repeat this process for each Office
2013 program you want to remove the Start
screen from.
Fix iCloud syncing problems
in Windows 8.1
If you use Microsoft Outlook
and Apple’s iCloud to sync your
calendar and contacts with an
iPhone or iPad, you may get a nasty
surprise when upgrading to Windows
8.1. In some cases the upgrade appears to
corrupt Outlook’s iCloud configuration,
resulting in a strange error message
that reads “The set of folders cannot be
opened. The information store could not
be opened” whenever you try to view your
iCloud Mail, Calendar or Contacts from
within Outlook. You’ll find restarting
iCloud won’t solve the problem, nor will
signing out, then in again using the iCloud
Control Panel tool in the Notification Area.
Even performing a Repair install of the
iCloud Control Panel has no effect.
The only way we’ve found to fix this
problem is to uninstall the iCloud Control
Panel altogether and re-install it from
scratch. Press the Windows key and type
control panel, then press Enter. Click
‘Uninstall a program’, then click on
iCloud. Click Change at the top of the
dialogue box and make sure that the
Remove option is selected in the box that
appears. Follow the remaining on-screen
steps to uninstall iCloud, then restart your
Make sure you download the latest
version (3.0) of the free iCloud Control
Panel from www.snipca.com/10374,
then run the installer. You’ll need to
sign in with your iCloud account again
and reconfigure all your sync settings once
it’s finished.
Have you ever
wanted to include a
(horizontal) page within a
portrait (vertical) document,
or vice versa? This is useful
when, for example, you want
to dedicate a page
to a photo, chart or graphic
that fits better in a different
orientation to the rest of your
document. Annoyingly, Word
doesn’t offer an easy way to
specify orientation on a
page-by-page basis. However,
you can create a new section
within your document, then
apply the alternative orientation to that
section only.
To create a section, click the point
in your document where you want to
switch to a different orientation (in a new
document, just leave the cursor where it
is). Click the Page Layout tab in the
Ribbon, then Breaks and select
Next Page. Now, click the point in
the text where you want the
document to return to its original
orientation, then click Breaks and
select Next Page again.
Now, click anywhere in the
section you want to re-format. To
make a landscape page within a
portrait document, for example,
click the Page Layout tab in the
Ribbon, then click the arrow at the
bottom-right of the Page Setup
section. In the Page Setup dialogue
box that appears, click the
Landscape option under
Orientation. Then select ‘This section’
from the ‘Apply to’ dropdown menu at
the bottom of the box, and click OK.
84 Computer active June 2014
Secret Tips For…
Get more from the free file manager,
archiver and compressor
Download the clean version
of PeaZip
Free software has an irritating habit of
trying to trick you into downloading
non-essential add-ons or pointless
additional software. PeaZip is no
different – it tries to install a browser toolbar
and some PC ‘tune-up’ software, but only if
you use the standard installation file. Tere
are hidden ‘stripped-
down’ versions of PeaZip that come with
none of the infuriating extras. To get this
version of PeaZip go to www.snipca.
com/10338 or for the 64-bit version of
Windows www.snipca.com/10339. Be
aware, these automatically download when
you press Enter.
Automatically zip files
If you regularly back up your important
documents you can use PeaZip to zip them
automatically through Windows Task
Scheduler. Locate the file or folder you want
to back up using the File system menu on
the right. Click the folder, then Add in the
top-left corner. Click the ellipsis icon next to
Output, go to the folder where you save your
backups and click Save.
Click the Schedule tab at the top and set
how often and when you want the zip to
take place. We set our zip procedure for
once a week on a Tursday at 12pm (see
above). Click ‘Add schedule’, then return to
the Archive tab and click OK.
Create a password to keep prying
eyes out
If you’re sharing zipped files but want to
avoid anyone outside your trusted circle
seeing them, add a password to make sure
the files are secure. Click the file
or folder you want to zip using the file
system menu, then click Add and
‘Enter password/keyfile’. Enter and confirm
your password, then click OK. Once you
complete the zip the file will
be password-protected and anyone wanting
to access it will need to enter the password.
Customise zip files to fit on
To make zip folders a particular size, click
Add, then select the ‘Single volume’
dropdown menu. Tis contains options for
limiting the size of zip files so you can fit
them on CDs, DVDs and USB memory
sticks. You can select from one of the pre-set
options or set your own limit. Select
‘Custom size’ and enter the size in MB or GB
(there’s an option for bytes and KB, but
these are best ignored because they’re so
small). You can then zip things as normal. If
your zip file goes over the limit, it’ll be split
into smaller chunks.
Leave no trace of deleted files
When you delete something on your
computer, it isn’t actually gone for good and
you can still recover it. If you use PeaZip’s
‘secure delete’ option, any files you delete
are removed from the hard drive and the
space they occupied is overwritten multiple
times. In PeaZip select the file or folder you
want to permanently remove, then click
‘Secure delete’. Click Yes on the warning
message that pops up to delete the files. To
make ‘secure delete’ even more effective you
can increase the number of times the files
are overwritten. Click Options, Settings,
‘File tools’ and change Passes from 2 to 4, 8
or 16. Be warned, the more passes required,
the longer it will take – 4 should be more
than suffi cient.
If, like us, you mostly zip
files from a specific folder
(in our case this is our work
folder), then you can get
direct access to this in
PeaZip by adding it to your
Bookmarks menu. In PeaZip
open the folder you want to
add to your Bookmarks by
double-clicking it, then click
File, Bookmarks and ‘Add to
bookmarks’. It’ll now appear
in the menu on the left. To
remove items from your
Bookmarks list, click File,
Bookmarks, Organize. Next, right-click
Use Task Scheduler to automatically zip files
Create and manage Bookmarks to quickly zip files
Delete files forever by overwriting them
Quickly access your favourite folders
the relevant folder and click
‘Remove bookmark’.
Problems Solved
85 June 2014 Computer active
Can I get iOS 7 apps for my iPhone 4s?
How do I burn drive
images to DVD?
Because I run Windows XP I was
interested in the ‘How you can
run XP forever’ article.
I downloaded the recommended
DriveImage XML from www.snipca.
com/9989 and I was impressed by the
speed and simplicity of the program.
However, I can’t find a way to burn the
drive images to DVD. Te article did
not give any help in this part of the
operation. My DVD recorder is drive H
on my system but DriveImage XML tells
me that this is not a valid drive.
Why is this? And how do I burn my
backup image to DVD?
Geet Baxi
Tere are a couple of problems
here. DriveImage creates image
files of hard drives, but it can’t
burn those image files to DVD itself. For
that you need DVD-burning software. First,
though, you need to set up DriveImage to
‘split’ the drive image into chunks that are
small enough to be burned to DVD. To do
this, tick the ‘Split large files’ box on the
Backup dialogue box. We’re assuming you
have DVD-burning software installed as
your PC has a DVD-recorder drive fitted –
so use this to burn the multiple image files
to DVD. If not, then use CDBurnerXP –
a free download from cdburnerxp.se.
I read with interest your
recent article about
Evernote and installed it
on both my Windows 8 laptop and
Windows 7 PC. However, when I
tried to download the app for my
iPhone 4s the App Store said it
only supports the iPhone 5. In
fact, I’ve noticed that none of the
apps in the App Store are
compatible with my ‘old’ phone.
Is this Apple trying to get me to
buy a new phone? Is there any
way to use these non-compatible
apps? Or is there a way that I can
either upgrade my iPhone or get
an older version of Evernote?
Vijay Birje
Te apps are probably
incompatible with your
operating system rather
than your phone. Te latest version
of the Evernote app requires you to
install iOS 7 on your device. Tis
latest version of iOS is available for
every iPhone from the iPhone 4
onwards, so you can install iOS 7
on your iPhone 4s if you choose
(but note the caveat, at the end of our
answer). To do this, tap Settings
followed by General and then Software
Update and follow the prompts.
Once you’ve installed iOS 7 you’ll be
able to install Evernote, and pretty much
any other recent app for that matter. We
think many people have been confused
by the wording some app developers use
in their product descriptions. Evernote,
for example, states that it is “optimized
for iPhone 5”. It’s true the app has been
designed to work to maximum effect
with the iPhone 5’s larger display.
However, it’s also compatible with older
devices with screens of different sizes,
including the iPhone 4s and older iPads
– but they run iOS 7. Be warned,
though, some apps might not have been
updated to work with iOS 7 yet. In short,
installing the new operating system
could actually cause problems for a few
of your existing apps, while others
might not run at all.
Tis has nothing to do with Apple – it’s
down to app developers to decide
whether they update their apps to work
with iOS 7 or not. It’s also up to you
whether you want to upgrade to iOS 7.
While in some circumstances it might
be possible to revert an iPhone running
iOS 7 to an older version of the
operating system.
With this in mind, we’d suggest noting
down your favourite apps before
upgrading and then checking each one
in the App Store to see if it’s been
updated to work with iOS 7.
Use DriveImage XML to create image files of
your hard drive
Make sure your apps are compatible with iOS 7 in
the App Store before updating
86 Computer active June 2014
Our experts solve all your tech problems
Email us your problem and we’ll try to help: noproblem@nextgenpublishing.net
How do I return my iPad to iOS 6?
Why is my computer screen freezing?
For the past two months I’ve
been working with a new
Lenovo G700 laptop running
Windows 8. I’ve overcome several
problems with Windows, but there’s
one particular problem I just can’t seem
to solve. On four separate occasions my
PC screen has seized up, leaving the
application I was using in place but my
PC refusing to respond to mouse clicks.
Te cursor follows the mouse
movements, but the screen doesn’t
change. Each time, I’ve had to remove
and replace the battery, usually losing
work in the process. Can you suggest a
Jaydev Rampal
Intermittent problems of this
kind are very diffi cult to solve,
but one thing that can help is
Windows Event Viewer. It won’t fix the
problem, but
the next time
it happens,
you can use it
to diagnose
the cause. If
when the
previous four
Event Viewer
might already
To launch it in Windows 8, type Event
then click ‘View event logs’. Click to
expand Windows Logs. Next, in the
Application and System sections, scroll
through the event list looking for ‘Error’
entries that tally with the crashes you’ve
experienced. If it’s a particular program
that’s causing the problem, uninstall it
or note down the details in the Event
window below and use Google to hunt
for a solution.
Use Windows Event Viewer to help diagnose common PC problems
I have to admit I got caught up in
Apple’s hype and decided to
upgrade my iPad 2 to iOS 7. I now
realise this was a big mistake. I hate the
new look. I also find many things more
diffi cult to use and my iPad now seems to
run slowly, whereas before it ran quite
well. I really regret upgrading and
desperately want to go back to iOS 6. Is
this possible? I suppose I should admit
that I didn’t back up before upgrading,
which was obviously stupid of me.
Sandeep Goud
We have some bad news –
currently, it’s impossible to
downgrade from iOS 7. Tis would
have been the case even if you
had backed up before upgrading, so
don’t feel too bad about that.
Apple generally allows people to
‘downgrade’ from a new iOS version for a
short while – but only to versions ‘signed’
by Apple servers. Tis was also true for iOS
7. For a few weeks, Apple’s servers would
approve version 6.1.3 (or 6.1.4 for iPhone
5) – the final versions of iOS 6. However,
the company has recently disabled this
option, meaning there is no legitimate
way to put iOS 6 back on to an upgraded
Unless Apple changes its mind about
allowing downgrades – and we think
that’s not going to happen – then the only
prospect is to ‘jail-break’ your iPad. Tis
means breaking Apple’s security so
that you can do whatever you like
with the device – including installing
older versions of iOS. However, you
should understand that jailbreaking
isn’t for the inexperienced. It removes
Apple’s security measures, leaving
your iPad much more exposed to
infection or attack.
While plenty of benevolent hackers
are busy trying to crack iOS 7’s
security, at the time of writing Apple’s
locks remain intact – so jailbreaking isn’t
yet possible. History suggests that the
hackers will eventually succeed, and at
that point you should be able to restore
iOS 6 without the permission of Apple’s
servers. For the latest on the status of iOS
7 jail-breaking, visit www.iphonehacks.
com; and visit Just a Penguin (www.
snipca.com/10452) for download links to
older versions of iOS.
Download older versions of iOS at Just a Penguin
Problems Solved
87 June 2014 Computer active
Set a type of file to open with a particular
program via your Control Panel
Avoid saving your Word documents in ‘read-only’ format
by changing the settings in the Save As dialogue box
Ever since buying my Acer Aspire
5332 laptop over three years ago,
I’ve used a USB mouse instead of
the built-in touchpad. However, when I
tried to use the touchpad recently I found it
no longer works. Why is the
touchpad failing to respond after
all this time?
Meera Bainker
A few possibilities. First,
it could simply be faulty.
However, that seems
unlikely. Second, the driver could
have become corrupt for some
reason – if need be, download the
latest driver from www.snipca.
Most likely, though, you’ve
fallen victim to a strange
little quirk that’s caught
out other Aspire 5332 owners
by inadvertently pressing a small button
alongside the power button. this button
disables (or enables) the touchpad. So,
just tap this button and see if this fixes the
problem. If not, it’s probably one of our
other suggestions.
Why won’t my touchpad work?
I use Offi ce 2013.
Of late, my saved
Word documents
have started transforming
themselves into ‘read only’
format. I can’t think of any
changes I’ve made that might
have caused this. Can you offer
a simple solution? If not, where
do I buy a ribbon for my 1950s
typewriter that’s somewhere
in my loft?
Prajapati Prant
Tere’s an option in
Word that, when set,
recommends you to
open documents in read-only mode.
As you have discovered, you don’t have
to follow this advice. If you click ‘No’ then
the file will be opened as a normal, editable
You can enable this option inadvertently
when saving your documents, and we think
this is what’s happened. To fix this, try
saving a document using the Save As option
then, in the Save As dialogue box, click
the down arrow alongside Tools and select
General Options. Untick the ‘Read-only
recommended’ option, then click OK.
Another possibility is that Word 2013 is
running in Compatibility Mode. To check
this, in Windows Explorer navigate to the
Offi ce15 folder (the exact location will
vary depending on your computer and
how Offi ce was installed, so use the Start
menu’s search bar to find the folder). Next,
right-click the ‘Winword.exe’ file and, if
necessary, untick the ‘Run this Program
in Compatibility Mode’ box. Click OK and
restart Word.
Why are Word docs saved as ‘read only’?
Why can’t I open
About three weeks ago the
hyperlinks in my emails refused
to open, displaying the following
message: “Tis file does not have a
program associated with it for performing
this action. Please install a program or, if
one is already installed create an
association in the Default Program control
panel”. What program is required to open
these links?
I can only think that the program has
accidentally been removed or the
association corrupted. Is there a way to
fix it?
Te answer to your first question
is that hyperlinks only open in a
web browser such as Internet
Explorer. You’re probably right in your
assumption that the association has been
removed or become corrupted. It’s
possible you installed, tried out and then
removed an alternative web browser, such
as Firefox or Chrome.
Tis is easy to fix. Click Start, Control
Panel, Default Programs, then ‘Associate
a file type or protocol with a program’.
Scroll to the ‘.htm’ entry, click ‘Change
program’, choose your preferred web
browser and click OK. Repeat for the
‘.html’ entry.
Note that other associations may also have
changed. If you want to put the browser
back in charge of every association it
can handle in one fell swoop, click Start,
Default Programs then ‘Set your default
programs’. Select the web browser in the
Programs list then click ‘Set this program
as the default’. Click OK.
Check you haven’t accidentally disabled the
touchpad on your Acer Aspire 5332 by pressing
a small button on the side
Why can’t I activate my old Adobe Photoshop software?
How do I stop automatic updates?
Problems Solved
88 Computer active June 2014
I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop
which had performed faultlessly
from day one. However, after
some recent Windows updates, I found the
mouse pointer began to stick on a regular
basis. My solution was to go into Device
Manager and roll back the driver for the
touchpad, which sorted out the problem.
Unfortunately, whenever I restart, the
automatic update that caused the problem
in the first place simply reinstalls itself.
How do I stop this?
Ian Rhodes
Hopefully at some point Toshiba
will get around to updating the
driver so that it doesn’t cause
problems with this Windows update. In
the meantime, we advise that you prevent
the Windows Update service from
automatically installing updates, then you
can manually install any updates.
To do this, click Start, All Programs,
then Windows Update. Click the
‘Change settings’ link on the left-hand
side. In the dropdown menu under
‘Important updates’, select ‘Download
updates but let me choose whether to
install them’. Ensure that the boxes
under ‘Recommended updates’ and
Microsoft Update are both ticked and
click OK.
Remember that from now on, you’ll
need to install Windows updates
manually. To do this, open Windows
Update and click the ‘X important
updates are available’ link under the
‘Download and install updates for your
computer’ heading to see the available
updates: tick only those that you wish to
install, then click OK. Repeat for the ‘X
optional updates are available link’.
Next, click the ‘Install updates’ button.
Adobe has released revised versions of older software
applications that no longer require activation
I’ve just upgraded my
computer and was
happily reinstalling
my applications until I came to
Photoshop and Creative Suite 4
(CS4) Upgrade Edition. It seems
Adobe has switched off its
servers so now I can’t register
the serial numbers for the
program on my new computer.
Tis seems daft as I already
have the serial numbers
registered on my account with
Adobe, and I can’t afford the
new cloud versions. Is there
I can do?
Hasan Tonkar
Te problem here is Adobe has
disabled its activation servers
for older versions of its
software. While the activation server still
works for CS4, it won’t work for CS2
products. You previously upgraded an
older version of Photoshop with CS4
Upgrade Edition. However, to install CS4
Upgrade Edition on your new PC, you first
need to install and activate the older
version of Photoshop,
which you can’t do – an
apparent Catch 22
Te good news is
that Adobe is fully aware of
this quandary and has
released revised versions of
older applications that
no longer require activation
– and that’s the way out of
your sticky situation.
You’ll first need to
uninstall your old program,
then log into the Adobe
website to download the
revised version. You’ll find
full details at www.snipca.
You’ll be able to install this revised
version of Photoshop with your existing
serial number and then upgrade it using
your CS4 Upgrade Edition.
Change the way Windows installs your updates in the Windows Update settings
89 June 2014 Computer active
Answer readers’ problems at forums.computeractive.co.uk
I’m running Windows 8 on a 64-
bit Acer Aspire laptop which is
brand new. I’ve twice tried to
install 8.1 from the Windows Store but on
both occasions I received this error
message: “Unable to install OxC1900101 -
Ox30018”. Te various Microsoft and
Windows 8 forums are unable to solve
this problem. Fingers crossed someone
here will have an answer.
KMOB, Computeractive Forums
I’m not sure what the codes
mean, but I had the same
problem. After research, I found
that people had varying degrees of
success with any of the following:
disconnect all external devices; clean
boot; remove or disable the network
adapter; remove or disable Wi-Fi
(especially with Asus machines); and
update video-card drivers. None of these
the 8.1 update.
Tis was confirmed by a post I read
elsewhere, which stated: “I just called
Microsoft support. Te technical-support
person told me this error is caused by third-
party background software. It’s not a Microsoft
It might also help if
you check to make
sure your machine is
actually compatible
with Windows 8.1.
Use Microsoft’s free
Upgrade Assistant tool
for this, which has been
updated for Windows
8.1 (www.snipca.
What is this Windows 8.1 installation error?
I own a Nexus 7 tablet running
Android 4.2. I would like to put
some of my DVDs onto it so I can
watch them while away from home. All the
films have been legally purchased and
aren’t pirated, while others are my own
work – burned from my own video- camera
footage. Is this possible? I have a desktop PC
running Windows XP Professional Service
Pack 3 with a 160GB hard drive.
Radhika Marchant
Yes, this is possible – though you
must be aware of the law. Many
commercial DVD releases are
copy-protected using digital-rights-
management (DRM) systems such
as the Content Scramble System (CSS).
Tese days it’s relatively simple to
crack this and other similar encryption
methods, but that doesn’t make it legal.
Nevertheless, turning your DVDs into
digital files that you can play on your Nexus
is pretty straightforward using free
software. First, download and install the
free version of WinX DVD Ripper, from
www.snipca.com/10427. Next, click the
Disc button in WinX DVD Ripper and select
the relevant DVD drive. Next, click the MP4
tab, tweak the video-quality settings if you
want a smaller file, then click the large blue
Start button to rip the disc. You can then
transfer the resulting MP4 file to your
Nexus 7 using your Nexus’s supplied USB
cable. Once it’s connected, open Windows
Explorer and drag and drop the MP4 file
onto the device, putting it in the Nexus’s
Videos folder. You can play MP4 videos
using the default video player: simply tap
the Play Music & TV app icon, then
Personal Videos.
How do I put my DVD movies onto my Nexus 7?
worked for me, but then I recalled articles
that suggested removing TuneUp Utilities
2013 or 2014. I’d already updated one of
my PCs with TuneUp 2014 to Windows
8.1, so I didn’t expect this to affect my
other PC, but uninstalling it let me install
Use WinX DVD Ripper to convert your DVDs so you can watch them on your tablet
Use Microsoft’s Upgrade Assistant to ensure your PC is compatible with 8.1
What is this Secunia error message?
Download a file more than once and Windows will number subsequent files sequentially
I have been trying to download
Secunia Personal Software
Inspector (PSI), but keep getting
an ‘NSIS_Error’. I have tried getting the
software from various sources, but the
same thing happens. Any ideas?
Dippy H K
Te most likely cause is a
corrupted installation file, perhaps
resulting from a failed download.
Tis may seem unlikely, as you say that
you’ve tried to download the program from
“various sources” – but we’ll explain our
logic in just a moment.
When double-clicked, many
executable files (.exe) will run an algorithm
that checks nothing has changed in the
program’s code since it was released by the
developer: if there is a problem then the
error you describe may be displayed and
the program will fail to run. If you are
attempted to launch a corrupted Secunia
PSI installation file, this would be the result.
As for why further download attempts
lead to the same error, we think you might
be overlooking that subsequent downloads
are named by Windows sequentially. So the
first (likely corrupt) Secunia download file
will be called ‘PSISetup.exe’, with
subsequent downloads called ‘PSISetup (1).
exe’, ‘PSISetup (2).exe’ and so on. When
you open your download folder to
launch the Secunia installation file, it
would be all too easy to assume that
PSISetup.exe has been replaced by the latest
So look for and launch one of these later
file names. If it still fails, then we’d worry
about the sources that you’re using – be
sure that you’re downloading Secunia from
the Secunia website (secunia.com). Before
you do this, delete all earlier attempts from
your downloads folder.
If the problem persists, then we’d suggest
running a full virus scan – because it’s it is
possible that an infection is preventing your
PC from installing new software.
However, be reassured that we don’t think
this is very likely.
Answer readers’ problems at forums.computeractive.co.uk
Has my network been hacked?
A computer or device called
‘Blue Peach’ appears to have
connected to my home network
and I have no idea what it is. It appears
in Windows Explorer under the
Network heading, along with my laptop
and my NAS (both of which are meant
to be there, of course). I’ve never seen
this Blue Peach entry there before. I
can’t access the device or see its
properties. My network is secured with
a good password. What could this be?
Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
Aerodynamic750, Computeractive
Has someone piggybacked on
to your wireless connection
without your knowledge? If so,
check and change your router security to
WPA2 and set a very strong new password.
However, I’ve never heard of Blue Peach. A
Google search turned up www.bluepeach.
com. It seems to be some kind of network
file-sharing service, which may help to
solve the situation.
Alanrwood, Computeractive forums
Have you installed any software
related to an Android device – a
smartphone or tablet, say? If so,
then this Blue Peach software could have
been installed as part of that to help with
file transfers.
Marbles65, Computeractive forums
Blue Peach – which has connected
to a reader’s home network –
enables embedded devices to
share files with Desktop and
server systems
90 Computer active June 2014
Problems Solved
91 June 2014 Computer active 91
Fast Fixes
Internet Explorer
Stop IE crashing and make websites display graphics and video properly
Stop IE crashing all the time
It’s really annoying when a website
you’re browsing crashes. If you’re using
Internet Explorer (IE) with add-ons
installed, it’s likely one of these is causing it
to crash. To find out, run IE without the
add-ons by going to Start and typing
Internet Explorer in the search box. Click
Internet Explorer (No Add-On) and launch
Internet Explorer. If it now runs without
crashing, you can safely assume an add-on
was causing the earlier problem.
If you still want to use add-ons, it’s
best to selectively reinstall them. To do this,
go to the Tools menu in IE and click
‘Manage add-ons’, then click ‘All
add-ons’ on the Show tab. Click Enable
next to an add-on to use it. If IE now runs
without crashing, go back to the Tools
menu and selectively enable more add-ons.
When you get to one that causes IE to
crash, you’ll know it’s the one at fault.
Disable it again to make IE run smoothly.
Reset IE to stop it crashing
If IE continues to crash even with add-ons
disabled, try resetting it to its original state.
Tis can help because it will get rid of
add-ons that are hidden in the ‘All add-ons’
menu. Resetting will delete your
preferences and browser history.
To reset IE, go to Tools, ‘Internet options’,
Advanced and click Reset. Don’t tick
‘Delete personal settings’ unless you also
want to delete your saved web passwords
and security settings. If you delete personal
settings, the reset will also go back to IE’s
original home page and reinstate Bing as
the default search engine. Click Reset in
‘Reset Internet Explorer Settings’, then
click Close, OK. Restart IE to check
whether it now works properly.
View sites that IE blocks
Internet Explorer blocks websites that have
security certificate errors, but it sometimes
thinks site certificates have expired when
they haven’t. Tis is usually because the
time and date on the computer are wrong,
confusing IE. Te browser may even start
blocking websites you’ve been able to
use in the past.
To stop IE blocking sites it shouldn’t you
need to set the clock. Go to Start, Control
Panel, ‘Clock, Region and Language’ in
Windows 7, then click ‘Data and time’,
‘Change date and time’. Use the spinners to
set the right time and date and click OK.
Next, click ‘Change time zone’ and, in Time
Zone Settings, click the right time zone and
click OK.
Make a website display
properly in IE
Some websites display incorrectly in
Internet Explorer, scattering the text
and images all over the place. When this
happens, you should see a ‘broken page’
icon in the address bar. Tis means that IE
isn’t fully compatible with the page. You
can make the page display correctly by
clicking the icon to switch on Compatibility
View. Te icon will turn blue.
From now on, IE will use
Compatibility View whenever you go
to that website and ensure text and
images are in the right place.
If you’ve been using Internet Explorer 11
Preview and found some sites don’t display
properly, it’s probably only the Preview
version of IE that isn’t displaying websites
properly. Microsoft has now launched
Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7
(www.snipca.com/10693), so try upgrading
to this as doing so should fix the website
display problem.
Disable add-ons to stop IE crashing
Resetting IE can help stop it crashing
Set the right time and date so IE knows when
site certificates are valid
Jargon Buster
1080p Of the common types of high-
definition video, this is the best quality:
1920x1080 pixels.
64bit A technology that processes
information in larger chunks. Most
modern computers are 64bit.
Asymmetric encryption A form of
encryption where only someone with
two keys – a private one and a public one
– will be able to decrypt your data. It’s
more secure than symmetric encryption
where someone would only need a
public key.
AVCHD Advanced Video Coding High
Definition. A standard for storing high-
definition video. AVCHD discs can be
played by most Blu-ray players.
BIOS Basic Input-Output System.
Essential software built into every PC that
connects the vital components. It’s visible
for a few seconds when the PC starts.
Boot Te process of starting up a PC
after is has been turned off.
CPU Central Processing Unit. Another
term for a computer processor.
Defragment To re-organise the data
stored on a hard disk so files are stored
in one piece and can be accessed quickly.
Sometimes shortened to defrag.
Descreening An option in scanner
software for removing the crosshatch or
dot-like distortion effect that often occurs
when attempting to scan newspapers
and magazines.
Dpi Dots per inch. A measure of printed
image quality, or the size an object will be
shown on screen.
Driver A file that tells Windows how to
work with a peripheral device.
Executable file A program file designed
to run in Windows. Executable files have
the file extension .exe.
False positive When an anti-virus
program erroneously detects a malware
infection when in fact there isn’t one.
Feedback Te tactile response that the
keys on a keyboard give when they’ve
been pressed.
Field A container that holds an item of
information. Website forms often have
fields for your first name and surname,
for example.
Gigabit Ethernet A very fast networking
standard that can transfer data at up to
Graphics card A component in a
computer that produces the image
shown on the monitor.
HDMI High definition media interface. A
type of connection that transmits high-
definition video and audio signals. It is
found on many new TVs, media PCs and
high-definition products such as Blu-ray
disc players and the PlayStation 3 and
Xbox 360 games consoles.
Hotspot A public area covered by a
wireless network that allows you to
access the internet, either free or for a
Image A file that contains a complete
copy of everything from a CD, DVD or
hard drive.
Integrated graphics chip A device that
has a chip for processing graphics data
built on to its motherboard, rather than
having a separate graphics card.
ISO A type of image file that contains all
the data from a CD or DVD disc.
MicroSD A small type of memory card.
Can be converted to SD size using an
Motherboard Te main circuit board
inside every PC into which all other parts
MPEG4 A standard for compressing
digital content that maintains very high
Optical stabilisation A mechanism built
into digital cameras that compensates for
any vibrations that occur during shooting.
PCI cards Peripheral Component
Interconnect Card. A small circuit board
that plugs into a motherboard and adds
new features.
Peer-to-peer A way to connect two or
more computers without a central file
server so they can share and swap files.
PNG Portable Network Graphics.
A format for images that shrinks file
sizes using compression, but without
discarding any data.
Processor Te processor – or central
processing unit – is the brain of a
computer. Processors now are tiny and
are capable of carrying out millions of
calculations per second.
Quad core A computer that has four
processors on a single chip, which allows
it to operate faster than standard (single-
core) computers.
RAM Random-access memory. Te
computer’s working area, used for data
storage while the PC is switched on. Its
capacity is measured in megabytes (MB):
the more memory your PC has, the more
things it can process simultaneously.
Ransomware Malware run by hackers
who take over your PC and demand a
payment to release it.
Refresh installation A troubleshooting
setting in Windows 8 that replaces
potentially corrupted Windows system
files with fresh copies. Tis doesn’t touch
any of your own files.
Registry A file integrated into Windows
that stores information on all hardware
and software installed. Te Registry can
be edited to tweak settings but incorrect
changes can damage the PC.
Resolution Te amount of detail shown
in an image, whether on screen or
Rootkits Software that gives a malicious
user administration rights and access to
a computer.
SD card Secure Digital card. A popular
type of memory card.
Security certificate A file used
by banking and shopping websites
to verify the identity of the company
running the website. Issued and
guaranteed by third-party security
SSD Solid-state drive. Storage that, unlike
a hard drive, uses no moving parts. Faster
but more expensive than conventional
hard drives.
Timeline Part of a video-editing
program consisting of a line or bar along
the bottom of the screen. Clips and
effects are added to the timeline so the
progression can be seen visually.
Travel Te distance the keys of a
keyboard have to be pressed before the
keystroke is recognised.
Trojan A malicious computer program
that’s disguised as a different, harmless
program. For example, a Trojan may be
disguised as a game, but it’s actually
a program that steals your internet
username and password.
TWAIN-compatible Technology
Without an Interesting Name. Twain is
a standard way for scanners and some
other devices to talk to your PC. In theory,
all Twain-compliant image-editing
applications, including Paint Shop Pro
and Photoshop, should be able to directly
access the image data produced by
any Twain-compliant scanner or digital
USB Universal Serial Bus. A standard
that allows quick and easy connection
of external peripherals such as storage
devices to your PC. Devices can be added
or removed while your PC is switched on.
USB2 Faster successor to USB that’s
used by such things as external disk
USB3 A faster version of the USB
standard used to connect devices to a
Virtual memory A reserved area of
hard disk space that your PC can use as
‘virtual’ memory, or Ram, whenever it is
running short of the genuine article. Also
called a swapfile, this allows you to have
more programs open at once but will be
slower than having an equivalent amount
of real RAM.
Virus definitions A database of known
viruses and other malware used by an
anti-virus program when scanning your
92 Computer active April 2014 92
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94 Computer active June 2014 94
The Final Straw
In this issue Stuart Andrews is left speechless over...
Computeractive’s Mr Angry
Voice controls
Do you agree with Stuart?
Let us know at letters@computeractive.in
or the past few months or so, I’ve
been the lucky owner of an Xbox
One, Microsoft’s latest attempt
to dominate the games industry and
ingratiate its way into the living room. It’s
a fascinating device, packed with features
and boasting a user-interface that’s
incredibly similar to Windows 8.1. It’s
also been a source of entertainment for
my family. Not, sadly, because they love
the games (though they often do) and not
because it’s become our hub for films and
streaming music (though it has). No. Tey
love the Xbox One because it often makes
me look like a complete berk.
Te Xbox One has voice control baked
into everything it does, and – let’s be clear
– it’s the best implementation I’ve ever
come across. I can search for a movie
through the Bing search engine then play
it on Netflix without touching a button.
I can browse the web and make a Skype
call simultaneously, saying, ‘Look ma,
no hands’ to my unimpressed mum.
I remember using PC voice commands
some 18 years ago and feeling lucky if I
got Word to open, so this is progress.
However, the problem with the Xbox
One’s voice controls is that they don’t
work every time. Sometimes I say: “Xbox,
tablets and smartphones. Tis year
Microsoft will have its own voice-
controlled assistant, codenamed Cortana.
In a way, it’s wiser to use smartphones
because nobody looks twice at you for
talking to your phone. But are people
really using this method to search on
their phones? Once the novelty wears
off, and you’ve asked your phone for
directions to the nearest pub or whether
it’s going to be windy on Sunday (almost
always “yes”), don’t people just go back to
searching by typing?
I suspect that voice control will get even
better, and that our technology will learn
to understand our requests without us
having to adapt how we talk or what we
say. I also suspect that we’ll become less
self-conscious, so that talking to
inanimate devices will one day seem as
natural as prodding them with a finger.
For now, though, I may stick with the old
remote control. It may not do everything,
but at least it listens to me.
go to Netflix” or “Xbox, Bing Bob Dylan”
and it does exactly what I say without a
hitch. At other times, nothing happens, or
it does something unexpected, or
even downright weird.
At its worst, using the voice controls
makes you feel like the owner of a
particularly brainless dog: somehow the
Xbox One’s inability to follow the most
basic commands makes you look stupid.
I try loud, I try quiet, I go high, I go low,
I try my best BBC-newsreader voice or
Shakespearean delivery, but nothing
seems to work. To make things worse
my wife and daughter have taken to
repeating my commands in a range of
increasingly improbable accents – and
frequently with better results. It’s one
thing being ignored by a dumb machine,
but another being ignored in favour of
someone doing the least convincing
cockney accent since Dick Van Dyke
donned his chimney-sweep’s suit.
Tis is the dark secret of voice controls.
When you press a button on your remote
and nothing happens, nobody knows.
And I never find myself trying to
remember how to change inputs or select
a film using a standard remote. But with
voice controls, your failure’s out there in
the room. Even when there’s nobody
around late at night, I still feel
self-conscious whispering
“Xbox, go to Blu-ray
player” at the sensor - and
embarrassed when it
doesn’t work. I need to get
a grip, because voice
controls and speech
recognition are now
everywhere, and are here to
stay. We’re already seeing voice
controls on some high-end
TVs, while Apple’s Siri,
Samsung’s S-Voice and
Google’s Voice Search are
becoming part and parcel of
the way we interact with
My wife and daughter
have taken to repeating
my commands in
improbable accents,
frequently with
better results
on the move
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Quiz # 36
Hohara, Ahm
adad, (Digitek Handy Scanner)
charan, Bijapur, (Envie Speedster)
Question 1:
1) What is the name of the most
affordable Motorola phone?
a) Moto X q
b) Moto E q
c) Moto G q
Question 2:
2) Google’s project to put Android
in wearable devices is known as ?
a) Android Wear q
b) Android X q
c) Android Silver q
Question 3:
3) Which is the first dual-SIM
Windows Phone 8.1 device?
a) Nokia Lumia 920 q
b) Nokia Lumia 630 q
c) Nokia Lumia 625 q
RNI No. MAHENG/2006/17942

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